Some years ago I had to “pull rank” on someone who was working in a physician’s billing office. Someone kept calling my mother and telling her that she had to contact an insurance carrier on the physician’s behalf because the insurance carrier was incorrectly paying on my mother’s account. The major problem was that Mom had told them not to bill this particular insurance but they did it anyway. Her account was being overpaid; the issue wasn’t Mom’s, but theirs.

Mom got frustrated after the second call and called me. I was irritated because Mom had difficulties with the same office regarding a previous bill and I’d had to contact them to resolve the issue… more than once. So I wasn’t feeling a lot of love for any of them. I got the phone number from Mom and gave these people a call.
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I remember reading an article in Discover Magazine years ago where there was a story on brain patterns and the speed of thinking. The person who the story was about, Dr. Antonio Damasio (department head of neurology at the University of Iowa at the time), made some interesting statements that worked to explain how people thought about things in intense moments.

make better leadership decisions
stevepb / Pixabay

One of those statements was that emotions turn out to be essential to our rational decision making processes. He stated:

“If we didn’t have those gut responses, we’d get caught in an endless cycle of analysis, drawing infinite pros and cons lists in our heads… emotions help you concentrate on making the right decision.”
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There are two movies that I can watch over and over. They are Armageddon and Independence Day. I don’t care what critics might think of each of these; they’re two of my favorites. Each one is a science fiction movie where the overall theme is that a central or main character has to take on a special act of courage in order to save the Earth from destruction by some sort of outside force.

The Likes of Whom The People Had Never Seen Before.  Beguiled and Deceived, The Masses Followed Him
DeeAshley via Compfight

In each movie, the pivotal character is a father that has to make a very critical decision; do they keep their word to their family members, or do they do the brave and, ultimately, correct thing for both their family members and humanity. Of course each character does what they have to do, and the Earth is saved; one dies, one survives.

What makes each man similar is that they chose the correct path. What makes each man different is the circumstances that got them there. In one, he’s the leader of his company, recruited by the government to save humanity. In the other, he’s a drunk suffering the effects of war and his belief that he was kidnapped by aliens (which might have been true lol), pretty much a loser with a family he can barely take care of. But both did what they had to do to become heroes, though it wasn’t the intention of either.

Leadership takes all forms, and sometimes comes unexpectedly. Everyone is capable of being a leader when the time comes; whether they actually do the heroic thing or not is something else.

I think back often to what happened in New York City on September 11th, 2001, where heroes were born, and unfortunately where some heroes died. Some of them were already leaders and managers; some of them were regular folks who felt a sense of duty and commitment to others. Even if we don’t remember their names, we remember the acts, as do those who were saved by those acts.

Leaders as unexpected heroes come in many different forms. For instance, check out this story concerning 9/11/01 that most people don’t know about:

BOATLIFT, An Untold Tale of 9/11 Resilience

Then there this video I did concerning Starbucks and their CEO from earlier this year:

Leaders Have To Be Ready To Take One For The Team

Every day someone has the opportunity to be a leader. There’s nothing saying leaders have to wait for catastrophic circumstances to step forward. As a manager, as an employee, or as a person, you have the opportunity to be a leader every single day to the people who work for you, or with you, or who you may not even know. It’s not always easy; but would you rather wait for life and death situations to have to discover whether you’re up to it?

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Here’s a major truth; all of us likes getting things for free, or for almost nothing. As long as it’s palatable, we’ll accept free food, free drinks, free notepads and pens, free software, even free clothes! If it’s not perfect or what we think it should be, we’ll complain about it if it’s not up to our standards; that’s what we do when we gripe about social media sites. It’s kind of funny, but that’s how all of us are.

Gellinger / Pixabay

I’m not much different. I’ll do a lot of research to find something I can use for free rather than pay a lot of money for it. I’ll also spend a lot of time working out problems with some of the free things I can get my hand on instead of paying someone else to do it. I’ll almost always find the time to do this sort of thing. I do have limits though, which is why I have an accountant, someone to cut my grass and someone to plow my driveway in winter.
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I spend a lot of time telling people that they need to have trust and faith in themselves if they want to succeed in life. I also tell people that if they believe in themselves then it doesn’t matter what anyone else has to say; go out and give it a shot.

While I still believe that, I feel the need to temper it a little bit because sometimes things aren’t that cut and dry. Everyone doesn’t have the proper judgment in determining whether or not what they’re doing is legitimate and reachable. If you’re doing things that are detrimental to your betterment, or in no way truly reachable, no matter what it is, then it’s probably time to listen to what others are saying.
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