Last night my boys didn’t want to share a toy. They were fighting and whining about it. We sat down in a circle and they were asked what the problem was.
“He wouldn’t give it to me!”
“I don’t want him to have it!”
“Ok,” I said, “what can you each do to create a sharing culture in the house?” This was a leap in consciousness for them, I knew, but it seemed like fun anyway. They were each asked to come up with one thing to do to create that culture. The closest thing we heard to a solution was from the three year old who said, “When he asked me for it, I told him to say please.” That was a good start!
For them, they both wanted the other person to change first. Their idea of a sharing culture was, “I’ll change when you do!” A little later in the evening however, they played nicely by themselves.
Leadership doesn’t wait for the other person to change. Leadership looks for the opportunity to engage that person right where they are. Doing so shares ourselves by being with that person, in the present moment. Engaging that person by showing our genuine interest in them not only brings out the best in us, but it invites the best in them.