Never lose sight of the fact that the most important yardstick of your success will be how you treat other people – your family, friends, and coworkers, and even strangers you meet along the way.—Barbara Bush

This week Barbara Bush, both the wife and mother of former U.S. Presidents, passed away.  She was known for her humor (sometimes biting), her fondness for wearing pearls, and she was lovingly referred to as “the enforcer”.

Although not a political leader, she was a leader in her own right. She focused on nonpartisan social issues, and volunteered and promoted causes that would especially help children.

Mrs. Bush’s quote reminded us of another quote: I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.— Maya Angelou

As leaders, we’ll at some point find it necessary to deliver tough messages, but it can be done in an honoring way and with aplomb. We may need to practice our delivery to ensure our message is clearly understood, that it is delivered with compassion, and that those impacted are not left feeling that they were treated disrespectfully.

In the past we’ve highlighted behaviors that Jim Rohn (author and motivational speaker) identified as key leadership traits, and it never hurts to repeat them:

  • Learn to be strong but not impolite
  • Learn to be kind but not weak
  • Learn to be bold but not a bully
  • Learn to be humble but not timid
  • Learn to be proud but not arrogant
  • Learn to develop humor without folly
  • Learn to deal in realities

Depending on the situation and the role we play, we too may be viewed as an enforcer, but if we apply our leadership skills effectively, our “yardstick of success” for how we treat others can still be favorable.


QWIKTIPS – click here to read more about MAKING A DIFFERENCE