Leadership Lessons from George Carlin

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George Carlin, who gets my vote for Best Comedian Ever, never said a word about leadership. That should be your first clue that I'm making up part of this. What follows are actual things that George said (courtesy of the wonderful folks at BrainyQuote) along with my humble thoughts about the leadership lesson they should teach us.

George Carlin: "Always do whatever's next."

Lesson: Keep moving. Get things done. Great leaders revel in calls to action.

George Carlin: "By and large, language is a tool for concealing the truth."

Lesson: When you're a boss, almost every message you get is filtered through self-interest and a unique perspective. You'll do better if you learn to separate the two and ferret out the truth.

George Carlin : "Electricity is really just organized lightning."

Lesson: Great bosses organize the energy of their team members.

George Carlin : "Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?"

Lesson: We all have our own perspective. You have yours, so be aware of it when you listen to criticism. Your team members each have one and usually you can learn something from it.

George Carlin: "I have as much authority as the Pope, I just don't have as many people who believe it."

Lesson: Your organization can give you authority, but it's only real when others believe it.

George Carlin: "In comic strips, the person on the left always speaks first."

Lesson: Every place has its culture and its rules. Pay attention to them. Ignore them at your peril.

George Carlin: "The reason I talk to myself is that I'm the only one whose answers I accept."

Lesson: At the end of the day, you're the one who has to live with the results of your actions.

George Carlin: "Think off-center."

Lesson: Thinking off-center is how you see possibilities and opportunities that others miss.

Boss's Bottom Line

Work hard. Do good things. And don't forget to laugh.

Wally's Working Supervisor's Support Kit is a collection of information and tools to help working supervisors do a better job. It's based on what Wally's learned in over twenty years of supervisory skills training. Click here to check it out.



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