"Learning faster than your competitors is the only sustainable competitive advantage in an environment of rapid change."
Arie deGues

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Leadership Notes -- Thoughts on Leading People and Making a Difference in Organizations

Word count this issue: 296

Estimated reading time:  1:45 minutes


Good evening from Hillsboro, Oregon. We’re doing a little work, and a little vacation on either end of the gig here in the Portland area. It is a wonderful part of the world, and the people are just wonderful. Friendly, gracious hospitality abounds, and there is a sense of fun and quirkiness that makes us feel right at home.


For example at dinner last night, we saw a sign that said, “You cannot make everyone happy. You’re not a pizza.”


This simple statement is a profound lesson for all leaders, especially those who are relatively new to the role. There is a deep need in all of us to be liked, to be part of an in-group, even if your group is a group that eschews being liked, or being part of an in-group! We learn that the best managers are more interested in respecting and being respected than liking and being liked.


And it goes deeper than that; we are each responsible for our own joy, our own sense of what in French is joie de vivre; a zest, a joy for life. We are not responsible for other people’s happiness, even when they think we are. Now, part of Joy is to be found in companionship and mutual love and regard, but only part. Joy is also about self-respect, self reflection and self awareness. The most joyful moments may be in the company of others, but they are not dependant on others. 



So as people who work together, let’s remember that “you cannot make everyone happy. You are not a pizza.” You are though perhaps, your own pizza!