I have been around the proverbial block of leadership in my life from both positions of leader and follower. Just recently I was having this discussion with one of my partners about behavior modification in funeral homes. Behavior modification is quite simply changing poor habits and continuous ineffective or unproductive behaviors. Funeral director training is a behavior modification tool that alleviates continuous ruts.
However, funeral director training is one thing, actually conducting and coaching is quite another. In our discussion, the topic of like versus respect was broached. A challenge for many funeral home owners is the difficulty of operating in a close environment. Conversely, how do other organizations seem to efficiently function in similar “close quarters?” We discussed an example of a particular funeral home owner that struggles to “take command of his troops” even for the overall good of their firm. The firm as mired in a continuous struggle for profitability and lacks consistent revenue performance from the revenue makers…funeral directors. The owner just doesn’t want to “rock the boat” which means he fears making necessary decisions, training and performance demands because he may “upset someone” thus not being perceived as “their friend.” We have both heard many times )I just can’t do that; these people are my friends.”
Another example we discussed is being a parent. Making decisions as a parent is often adverse to how friends would interact. However, the inability to make often life decisions for the sake of “being a friend” may have severe consequences for the child over time.
So for the sake of discussion, which would you rather be as a leader, liked or respected? I believe there are circumstances for both; certainly my answer would be that I would like to be liked and respected. Let’s narrow this down to the work environment in a funeral home. Would you rather work in an environment and culture of like or respect? What’s your choice? Cheers Y’all.
53 years. No more battles to fight, no countries to defend, no oppressed people to free. I remember years ago reading about what happens to men when we get older. We go from being dangerous warriors seeking battles to fight, running with the ball or tackling the ones that carry it. It’s happened…now I watch young warriors returning from foreign lands and men playing football on my big screen television.
I am 53 years old today and reflective. I looked at my uniform now hanging in the closet under plastic (yes it still fits), but it’s not for me to wear anymore. Frankly, the medals don’t mean anything to anyone else but me now; they are only history. My greatest successes are not pinned on that uniform, rather they are experiences only I realize…
Over my adult years I have worn many uniforms, performed different jobs and taken on some pretty lofty projects. I developed a personal mantra of “a vision is only a dream without execution.” I have dreamed, had visions and executed…I have also failed.
It’s odd coming to the realization that you’re closer to the end than the beginning. I’m not going to put on that uniform for service ever again and I’m not going to tackle the guy carrying the ball. But let me tell you what I am going to do:
I’m going to execute my visions in the funeral industry and challenge those around me to elevate themselves beyond the norm. I’m still going to be brought to tears when I hear Toby Keith’s “American Soldier.” I’m still going to say to new people that I work with “I’m not going to say anything to offend you on purpose; when I want to offend you, you’ll be certain that I wanted to.” I’m still going to love a good debate. I’m going to keep writing what comes to my mind, expressing my opinion and challenge others to take a stand.
I’m going to take care of myself which includes playing golf, smoking cigars and drinking dark rum straight on the rocks with a lime. I’m going to live 50 weeks a year so that I can live for 2 weeks in Aruba…like life should be lived. 53 is a new number for me; the number of consecutive push-ups I require of myself in the mornings just because I can. I’m not going away easily. I think I’ll just keep being me. Cheers y’all! #thefuneralcommander