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Leadership Lessons: We ALL Go Home For The Holidays

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The test of leadership this week is not in your work organization; it is when you are faced with the patterns you learned in your original organization, the family.

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The time between Christmas and the New Year is filled with memories that are almost always tinged with things sad, bitter, confusing, funny, depressing, as well as caring and sweet.

Just hearing “Jingle Bells” can take you back to a tussle with a sibling when you were five or seven. “White Christmas” even if you are sitting on a beach in Hawaii can remind you of a squabble between your parents. “Rudolf” might trigger that year when your grandfather drank too much or your aunt announced she was getting divorced.

Holidays spark memories like no other time of the year.

This year make a resolution to stay above old frustrations. If you are with family or call to say “happy holidays,” see if YOU can be the one to elevate the moments to a new level of positivity and cheer.

Family is the alpha and omega of our lives. Yes, I hear some of you groan. However, this is a universal and non-negotiable truth. Think of it this way: other things may change us but we start and end with family.

What you learned at the family dinner table about fairness, favoritism, back-biting, betrayal, communication and cooperation is what you then take into meetings at the office business table.

Use this time to practice leadership!

When someone in the family responds in a nasty manner take a deep breath and simply say “thanks.” If the conversation turns contentious put your hand up, palm out, in the symbol of “stop” and then say no more. These are “pattern interrupts” and they really do work.

Also, if the conversation is too superficial for you, ask someone about an impossible life dream or tell one of yours. You will be surprised at the yearning in most of us to talk about something meaningful and hold back out of fear.

We do go home for the holidays, if not physically, always emotionally. Make this year the one to give and get love in a whole new way. Keep going and keep growing. Merry holidays to all.

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