Momma Said There’ll Be Days Like This

Busy, busy, busy! We’re all busy, but December always holds more activity, doesn’t it? In our personal lives, there is decorating, cooking, parties, presents and travel. In our professional lives, there are year-end goals (or quotas) to meet, plus parties.

As Aflac agents, Mr. Blair and I have a full calendar of enrollments in November and December. The rest of the year, we have a couple of enrollments a week. During this season, we have a couple of enrollments a day. We’re thankful for the work! It is fast-paced and fun, while being a little nerve-wracking because we can’t make mistakes with coverage or premiums. Additionally, we have to get the work completed around the schedules of the businesses’ year-end goals (or quotas), parties, presents and employee vacations.

While it may be “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”, it isn’t the most relaxing.

In the middle of this, I’m a District Sales Coordinator, so I lead a team of other agents who are doing the same work that I am. Calendars are full. Deadlines have to be met. At times, emotions run high due to the stress, whether they are ours or our clients’. That was the case earlier this week. On Wednesday at 6pm, I looked like this chicken!

In the middle of a very busy work schedule, there was a rift in our team. In trying to resolve the issues, I made a rookie leadership mistake. I had understood that I was getting a first-hand story, but it was second- (or maybe third-) hand. I made assumptions and decisions based on that information. But the story was, in fact, not true. I had addressed bold accusations based on a lie.

Folks, the Leadership Chair can be the most fulfilling seat in the house at times and, at other times, it can be the most difficult. Some days will leave us looking like this stressed-out chicken.

You may think I’m just talking about being a leader at work. I’m not. You are probably already a leader. Someone is watching your example, so you are a leader.

Now lead!

Do what’s right, all the time. Make decisions based on what’s best for everyone involved, not just for you. Always be honest, even when it hurts a little bit…or a lot! Get the facts and make a decision. Be the kind of leader that people want to follow because they trust you. They won’t like all your decisions, but they will trust that you made the best decision with the information you had at the time.

When you’re wrong, like I was this week, apologize. My momma says “Crow is best served warm”, so if you’re wrong and you’re gonna have to eat crow, get it done quickly and move on.

Don’t over think it. Don’t wait.

Behave honorably and lead with integrity. Respect the leadership role and don’t take it for granted. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Be transparent so that those following you will realize that growth always has its pitfalls. Some particularly tough days will leave you looking like a chicken that narrowly escaped the plucking factory.

Thankfully, I re-learned a valuable lesson and, if my memory holds out, I won’t have to make that same mistake again. No doubt, I’ll make a new one. It’s all part of the process and besides, “Mama said there’ll be days like this.”