We Missed the Exit to Chick-fil-A

(View from the deck on Piper Pond)

I’m back home in Central Maine where the people are wicked sharp, the Humpty Dumpty chips are wicked good, and the air smells like Christmas trees. (See pronunciation guide below.)

“Wicked” is an amplifier for a person from Maine. Regular folk might use “extremely.”

We successfully crammed the seven-hour trip from Albany, New York to Abbot, Maine into eight hours, which wasn’t bad considering we drove in a circle for thirty-minutes. Our two grandsons, Abe (10) and Asher (13) rode with us.


Learning to manage your influence is one of leadership’s great opportunities. I need to take you back to our trip to explain why it matters.

You should know that my wife doesn’t drive like me. She’s a defensive driver. I’m an offensive driver. So I wasn’t happy when she missed the exit for Chick-fil-A in Massachusetts.

We chose Chick-fil-A because it’s Abe’s favorite restaurant and today is Abe’s birthday. We decided to start celebrating yesterday on the trip. Here’s what I noticed.

When I’m joking around, others are laughing and smiling. When I’m stressed, because we missed an exit, the ride is no fun for anyone.

You’re not at your best when you’re stressed. A little stress makes you alert. A lot of stress makes you stupid. Stupid people don’t know they’re stupid.

Influence means your behaviors matter. The people around you – to some degree – reflect you.

When you’re stressed, they’re stressed. When you’re happy, they tend to be happier.

Influence principle: Negative influence takes less effort than positive.

How might leaders manager their influence?

Pronunciation guide:

“In order to pronounce “sharp” like a Maineiac, replace the “r” with an “ah”. And “oo” in “good” is hard like the “oo” in “Mr. Magoo”.