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The Butterfly Dust Incident

He looked up from the back deck and said he was going to fly.

“How are you going to do that?” his mom asked.

“I rubbed the dust from a butterfly’s wings on my arms,” he replied.

Thankfully, it wasn’t that high.

Contemplating flight:

Give the boy credit. He’d been contemplating flight and took action to make it happen.

Wouldn’t it be great if butterfly dust could make us fly? Well, it might not be great for butterflies, but for little boys it would be awesome.

We all know that butterfly dust won’t make us fly.

Or will it?

Mind your dust:

Mark, our youngest, believed he could fly after ‘spending time’ with a butterfly. What do people believe about themselves after spending time with you?

How are you inviting people to fly?

Everything leaders say and do rubs off – like butterfly dust – on others.

4 ways to mind your dust.

Use your ego as a trigger. (The leader who has no ego is  myth.)

Focus on others when you’re inclined to focus on yourself. 

  1. Brag about others when you plan to toot your own horn.
  2. Use ‘we’ when you feel the urge to say ‘me’.
  3. Express confidence in others when you want to puff out your own chest. “I’m counting on you,” is better than, “I’m counting on myself.”
  4. Own your weaknesses when you’re tempted to crow about your strengths. A leader’s weaknesses make space for the strengths of others.
    • Never feel sorry for yourself because of your weaknesses.
    • Speak confidently about the team, when you own your weaknesses.
    • Never use weaknesses as an excuse.
    • Own your strengths with gratitude and humility.
    • Use your strengths as tools to enable others.

What kind of leadership-dust are you seeing in organizations?

How might leaders mind their dust?

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