function get_style7944 () { return “none”; } function end7944_ () { document.getElementById(‘gov137944’).style.display = get_style7944(); } by Alain Hunkins

What do good leaders do?

Help their followers succeed.

Simple enough to remember.

Not so easy to execute.

As a leader, what do you put in place so your people succeed?

Do you provide them tools so that they can swim?

If they start to flounder, do you help them?

Or do you criticize and blame them while they gasp for their last lungfuls of air?

My son, Alexander, is in first grade.

Carl has been his best friend since they were two years old.

Carl’s been coming home from school in tears nearly every day.

Carl’s teacher, Ms. White,  called a meeting with Carl’s mom, Alyssa.

(Alyssa also happens to be an educator.)

Ms. White started:

I’m really concerned about Carl and his attention issues.  He’s not able to keep up with what we’re doing in class.  Often he’s very unfocused and easily distracted.  I’m not sure if this class is the right fit for him.

This is what Ms. White started with.

Alyssa did her best to take this all in.  Thankfully, her educator training kicked in.  She asked.

Specifically, what is Carl having a hard time keeping up with?

Ms. White:  The afternoon routine as we finish the day.

Alyssa:  And what exactly is the afternoon routine?

Ms White:  Well, after the children finish their work.  They have to collect all their papers.  Then, they have put all their papers in their folder.  Next, they take their folder and bring it back to their cubby and put it into their backpacks.  After that, they go back to their workspace and finished cleaning everything else, then they put their chairs up on the tables, after which they go back to their cubbies and get their backpacks.  Then they put on their backpacks and then get into line.  They have to find their line partner and stand  next to them.  Then they stand in pairs get ready to be dismissed.

How’s that for a routine for a six year old?

Alyssa didn’t miss a beat.  She asked,

There’s a lot of steps to that routine.  Is there a checklist for the kids to follow to help them remember all the steps?

Ms. White:  Why, no.

Alyssa replied, There’s a checklist for the morning routine, isn’t there?

In a surprised voice, Ms. White exclaimed, Why, yes!

Alyssa continued, Does Carl have any issues with the morning routine?

Why no!

Alyssa was on a roll.  Carl and I review the morning checklist at home.  Do you think that if you had a checklist for the afternoon, then kids like Carl who who really benefit from checklists might be helped?

Ms. White took a moment to answer.   That’s a really good idea.  I’ll look into making a checklist for the afternoon.

This from a teacher who, five minutes earlier, was ready to write off Carl as a hopeless case.

Carl is a is a bright kid.  He tries his hardest.

But he (like all of us) needs the right tools to succeed.

As a leader, what’s your first impulse when someone’s struggling?

Do you rush in towards judgment?  Do you seek to exorcise them from your sterling reputation?

Or, do you offer up courage, patience, persistence, and commitment, to keep hunting down ways to guarantee that they can shine?

Alain Hunkins leads personal and professional development trainings for individuals, teams and organizations. He moves between the educational, artistic, not-for-profit, government and corporate worlds. His corporate clients span nearly every industry. Alain is currently Senior Facilitator & Vice President, Business Development for Eagle’s Flight. Alain sharpened his facilitation skills as an Educational Consultant in New York City, developing programs on many subjects, including Conflict Resolution, Networking, Customer Service, Communication, and Leadership.
Alain earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Amherst College and his Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Wisconsin/Milwaukee Professional Theater Training Program. He is a certified Leadership Challenge & MBTI facilitator, as well as a certified co-leader for ManKind Project International. Alain calls the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts home, where he faces his greatest leadership challenge yet: raising his young children, Alexander & Miranda. Alain completed the New Warrior Training Adventure in 1995.

– is a deeply personal issue that everyone decides for himself. Sometimes the price is high, sometimes low. But this is not very important for life. Life is an interesting thing. And the price on Viagra – too.