Got Your Smile

When I was a little girl, my grandfather would put his hand up to my nose, pull it away quickly, and  show me his fist with his thumb sticking out in a way that looked like the end of my nose.  He would smile and say, I've got your nose. I never really thought I lost my nose.  But the concept of my nose being taken away from me was scary- even if this trick was endearing and even though I loved having his attention.

Fast forward lots of years.  Now I'm an adult who works for a leadership development organization that finds some of the newest and best leadership concepts in the world. The access to really really smart people who communicate really really smart things is a fringe benefit of my job.  I have a front row seat to see compelling content told in a way that inspires action.  There's a lot of greatness in the world. 

I've learned things like:
"First, get the right people on the bus" - Jim Collins

"Ask more questions.  Bark fewer orders." -Liz Wiseman

"Face reality as it is, not as you wish it would be." -Jack Welch

"Organizational health is the single greatest competitive advantage in any business." -Patrick Lencioni

"When you're in positions of authority you need truth tellers around you." -Condoleezza Rice

"Language matters." -Bill Hybels

"The opposite of bad is not good.  The opposite of bad is LOVE" -Henry Cloud

"You can choose courage or you can choose comfort.  But you cannot have both." -Brene Brown

"Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position goes down your ego goes with it." -General Colin Powell 

These things that I've learned are core to great leadership.  But some days I think it's much simpler.  Some days great leadership is choosing to get out of bed with a smile on.  It's choosing to greet the day with your pearly whites gleaming from a deep down loving life soulish way.

But I also know how even that can feel hard. And then the fear of losing my smile sets I dance. Cue music. I host my own independent dance party when no one is looking and I move and groove to an off-beat-jumping-jack-waltz.  On days when a smile is hard to come by first thing in the morning, I just dance. Then for my final number, instead of imagining sweet flowers thrown on stage recognizing my compelling performance, I picture my grandfathers strong hand, palm up, offering me a shiny new smile.  I've got your smile.   


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