Lollipop Theory

Hold on. I have something negative to say. Yesterday I heard a statement that I found pretty offensive, but of course it still stuck with me….”Once you lick the lollipop of mediocrity, you will suck forever.” It’s pretty harsh right? It’s so defeating.  No one wants to be mediocre. It’s worse than being average. Way worse actually. I think I found it even more offensive, because it referred to one of my favorite things, Lollipops! How dare someone use mediocrity and lollipops in the same sentence. So to sooth myself I searched one of my favorite hangouts. TedTalks. I remembered a talk about lollipops and watched it a couple of times. Ahhh, I started feeling better. So much better in fact that I wanted to share it here.

If you have a couple of minutes check it out here TEDxToronto Drew Dudley. In essence while Drew is talking about leadership, he’s really talking about moments when something you do or say impacts someone in a profound way and you have no idea. It makes sense. How would you know? It’s not like we go around telling people, “hey, what you just did is likely going to have an impact on my life.” It just doesn’t happen that way. We all move through our days with lots of interactions with people we know and with many we don’t. Research shows that we likely interact with between 15 and 20 people per day. We speak somewhere around 7,000 words a day, so there’s no way we can know where our interactions and words have impact and where they are like snowflakes that quickly disappear. So, what Drew’s talk does is remind us to be a little cognizant and we’ll all be better “leaders.” The quotes are because leaders aren’t siloed. Leaders take many forms and there’s so many opportunities for leadership to show through, so you don’t get lured into licking the lollipop of mediocrity. Ick!

I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel I’m in a glamorous profession. Real estate, software, banking, valuation analytics…my world, isn’t a career path where I consider myself a leader. I enjoy it. I advise and consult, but ……leadership, not so much. Yet in my daily interactions with my peers, employees, customers and prospects I’ve learned that I show good leadership in small ways and I also show poor leadership, consciously or unconsciously. The funny thing is, the more that I keep the Drew Dudley form of leadership in my actions, the more I seem to notice and receive positive influencing moments. Maybe that’s because of “human energy fields” or HEFs that scientists and doctors have studied for years. While most of us are unaware of HEFs, modern science tells us that we humans are not just made of molecules, but are composed of energy fields. I’m thinking that since we have thousands of words to use with the 15 or so unique people we come into contact with each day, that leadership opportunities – “lollipop moments” are abundant. I may have to rethink my held definition of leadership. How about you?