Lead with Poise Not Noise

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Lots of people today are good at making noise when they want something. You have probably heard of “Wine and cheese” parties—there are “wine and geez” parties too!

Leading with poise seems to be a dying art. President Ronald Regan said, “I have learned that one of the most important rules in politics is poise, which means looking like an owl when you have behaved like a jackass.”

Here is a simple quiz to assess your ability to lead:

  • Can you take a reprimand without losing your cool?
  • Can you take a turn down without becoming discouraged?
  • Can you laugh with others when the joke’s on you?
  • Can you keep your spirits up when things go wrong?
  • Can you keep your cool during emergencies?

Seriously—how did you do on the quiz?

Those who lead with poise are a very valuable resource in business today. Grace under pressure is a key attribute for anyone aspiring to become a leader. Dr. David Laird defines poise as follows, “poise is what makes you a master of all situations.” The way to develop poise, he says, is to destroy the enemies, nervousness, anger and the habit of speaking before thinking.

I once heard it said:

The secret to leading with poise is not to have butterflies in your stomach, but to have them fly in formation.


Live long and prosper.

Captain's Log


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