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Setting the tone

This week my post is inspired from a Christmas movie my husband and I watched this week. It’s amazing when you watch a movie and try to think of the underlying message and then use the lesson from it to change your life.

Have you ever watched the movie Elf? Will Farrell plays a character that starts out as an orphaned baby who snuck into Santa’s sack and found his way to the North Pole where he was adopted by an elf who always wanted to be a dad. As he grew up as a human in an elf’s world, he soon realizes he doesn’t fit in. After learning that he was adopted and hearing about his real dad, he sets off on a trip to find him. He finds his dad and tries to assimilate into a normal family. The sad part is that he is different. He thinks he is an elf and goes above and beyond to make sure others are taken care of and happy. He is shunned by his father and others around him because of his jovial nature.

I think there are a few lessons in this movie. First and foremost, that it is hard to fit in when you are different. Second, many people are more negative and when they meet someone who is extraordinarily happy, they turn away thinking they are weird, or crazy. Will Farrell, in this movie was like a leader who sets the tone in an organization. He was so positive it was infectious, but most people around him wanted to focus on the negative.

As leaders, we know people are always watching. People follow you. Negativity is unfortunately just as contagious as positivity. Do you want to be a leader who is negative and sets that tone in your organization, or would you rather be a positive and encouraging leader who sets a tone where people are comfortable and confident?

Do you have a story of someone who set a positive tone in your organization? Or in contrast, one who set a negative tone? What did you learn from either?

Thank you for reading and I look forward to reading your comments.