This summer, I had the opportunity to attend a day long concert. A friend of mine was the official event photographer and was able to get me tickets to the show. During one of the breaks between sets, while he was on stage taking pictures, another friend and I noticed that the audience was giving our photographer friend the finger. I’m sure you can guess which finger I’m referring to but if not, let’s just say they were not saying he was #1 ?.
Later in the day, we found out the story behind the audience giving the event photographer the finger whenever he came into view.
During a previous break while he was on stage, someone in the audience asked him to take their picture. He responded with “I already did” and they came back with “well, take a picture of this” while giving him the finger. He responded with a smile and a finger back. Meanwhile, a large part of the audience that was up front saw this exchange, and also gave him the finger! It turned into a game every time he was on stage. My friend and I got to the concert late and saw audience members flipping him off. Even though we were not yet sure why fingers were flying, we joined the fun. (You can see a photo of the fun on my Facebook page!)
This was a lighthearted situation, but the reality is that we are always being watched and listened to, especially when we are in a position of power. Think about children. Most kids mimic their parents, saying and doing whatever they see mom and dad saying and doing, for better or for worse. This is especially true of something said with authority right after hitting your thumb with a hammer.
When we want to set the tone in any position of authority, we make sure we’re on our best behavior. When you’re leading a team, you lead by example anticipating that others will follow suit. That might mean that you dial your personality back a little. It’s not about being fake, it’s about putting your best foot forward when setting a precedent, since you never know who is watching.
“I’m just an average man with an average life
I work from nine to five, hey, hell, I pay the price
All I want is to be left alone in my average home
But why do I always feel like I’m in the twilight zone and…?
I always feel like somebody’s watching me…” – Rockwell
Have a great weekend,