Fooled By A False Sense Of Authority
On a recent flight to Chicago, I ran into “that” flight attendant. You know “the one”. He’s that attendant that goes out of his way to make sure that everyone traveling understands how important he is and how much he allegedly has control over our lives. He had a zero tolerance policy and strutted up and down the aisle glancing over all of us with his memorable flair.
Quite honestly, I found it both amusing and interesting. Here was a man who leveraged his position to “control” the environment and the people who happened to end up there. It was his world, his reality, and his source for fulfillment. Unfortunately for him, most others on the plane had very little interest in engaging his world.
This particular flight attendant was fooled by his false sense of authority. In addition, he was guilty of adopting a paradigm that guided him into believing that forcing one’s “authority” on others actually creates a following. History has shown us in multiple occasions that this method rarely works. Pushing people to do something without communicating care or consideration usually comes off harsh, cold, and manipulative. Contrarily, the kind of authority that moves people is rooted in a deep sense of purpose, community, and care.
People who have to go out of their way to prove their authority usually don’t have it. Trust in leadership is earned. Gone are the days when you were able to fake it or brainwash the masses. In this digital age, anyone can speak up and be heard (e.g., Tweet it, Blog it, Yelp it, Review it, etc.) People may do what you say for a short while, but without a genuine sense of caring leadership, they will end up unmasking the wizard and leading a revolt against you.
Stay humble, care for people, produce quality, and don’t allow the hype of your PR fool you into a false sense of entitled authority.