Thoughts on Leadership is the brain child of Paul Bridle. This is the place that Paul shares his monthly thoughts.

Real Friends Don’t Let Drunk Friends Drive!

Posted: November 30th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

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Ok, so here’s the situation.  You’re staying in a hotel over night; you’re on a business trip.  You’re walking through the hotel and there is a friend you haven’t seen in a long, long time.  You greet each other; how are you?  How’s the family?  Come on lets have a drink and a chat.  You say yes-good idea; after all you’ve got nothing else to do this evening.  You sit down with your friend.  You spend a good evening together.  You’re drinking, having a bit more to drink.  And as the evening goes on, or as the time goes on together this person and yourself are feeling better for having enjoyed something to drink.  Suddenly it’s getting to that part of the evening where your friend says I think I better get off.  He’s had a bit more than you have and he’s not in as good a state as you are.  Not necessarily that you’re in the best state.  Now, this is it.  This is when you find out that he is planning to drive home.  What are you going to do?

These months Thoughts on Leadership is “Real Friends Don’t Let Drunk Friends Drive Home”.   Because a real friend would say to his friend, ah, no, no, no you’re not going to drive.  And of course if you’ve ever been in that situation, the friend is going to go ‘oh I’m ok, I only live down the road, its all right this time of night, there’s no police about.”  And give all the reasons why he’s quite capable of driving home.  But a real friend will go no, no, no you’re not going to do this.  And you handle the situation.  You handle it because if it’s a real friend, you don’t want them to go through that situation.  That’s what real friendship is about.  Now does that person think that you’re being their friend at that moment in time?  Probably not.  But you know and they know in the morning that you really were.  Leadership is a little bit like that on occasions.   Leadership is real leaders tell people as it is.  If somebody is not performing, if somebody is not doing as they should, if somebody is got an issue.  If there’s an issue around in your business, around particularly an individual or even a group of individuals, real leaders will deal with it.  They are not just going to let it go they aren’t going to go well it’s your decision at the end of the day.  Well whatever.  They get in there and do what’s right for the person and for the circumstances.  And is it easy?  Of course it isn’t easy, that’s why it’s called being a leader.  Because if it was easy it would be happening anyway.  So, being the leader is about knowing and doing the right thing both for the individual concerned and for the business or the circumstances that are around.  In the case of the drunk it’s the right thing for them but its also the right thing for the people out there on the street who are walking home, that are out for an evening, that are driving a car or whatever it is.  So it’s an all around correct thing to do.  And this is not an easy one for a lot of people to deal with.  So the questions this month are really going to be around this.  How are you doing in these particular areas?  What I really want you to think hard about this month is this; how good are you at being a real leader?  How good are you at being a real friend to the people that are your friends?   Being a real leader is about taking the lead.  And on occasions this means you’re going to have to make those decisions.  Think about that individual.  Think about that team that’s not performing, that’s not doing the right thing, and deal with it.  Deal with it in the right way.  Deal with it in the way that’s going to really help.  So what are you doing this week?  What are you going to do tomorrow?  What are you going to do now to address the issue?

Lets go back to that example of you being in a hotel with your friend who’s not had too much to drink and wants to drive.   What would you do, the options are to just say to him, the option is to just steal his keys from him.  Another option is to get the barman to help you or the hotel manager or somebody to help you.  Maybe they are the ones that go no, no, no you can’t do this and you go come on he’s right mate.  There are various ways, there’s not just one simple solution.  And guess what as you’re dealing with it you’re going to have to take standing.  You start down the street and you realize that’s not going to work so you come at it from a different route.  So it will be with these people.  You’re going to have to start to take action.  Putting it off is not an option, least of all in this day and age.

So think about the questions this month;

  • Who are they?
  • What are the issues there?
  • How are you going to deal with it and get started in dealing with it?

There’s no one-way that’s going to work, you’re going to probably have to try different ways.  But putting it off is no longer an option for you.  Not if you’re a real leader, because real friends don’t let drunk friends drive home.

Have a great month, see you next month.

Book Recommendation from Paul:

Graham Davies taught me a great deal in terms of making sure I produced a relevant presentation.

Graham Davies is the Presentation Coach for CEOs, Celebrities and Cabinet Ministers.

His new book, appopriately called The Presentation Coach, has just been published by Capstone and is featured by WHSmith Travel as one of their Top 20 business titles.

He forcefully attacks all the old presentation clichés, as well as giving a challenging alternative: his distinctive Bare Knuckle approach to presenting. Whether you have to speak in a boardroom, ballroom or broadcast studio, he shows you how to Say It, Support It….and Shut it.You will never again commit the crime of Death by Bullet-Point.

Graham’s clients have provided a spectacular collection of endorsements.

“Graham Davies disproves the old saying that those who can’t do, teach. He’s a brilliantly funny speaker who knows how to inspire and enthuse anyone who sees presenting as a bore, a burden or a source of terror.”

Nick Robinson, Political Editor, BBC

“This book really captures Graham’s intense and robust sense of coaching. Just like the author, it is amusing, punchy and really comforting to have access to in all presentation situations.”

Michel Combes, CEO Vodafone Europe

I heartily recommend that you get this book and have it as a resource in your personal library.  It is something you can dip into and learn from for many years ahead.  Go get it at:

Graham Davies

Tel: 0207 937 7758


Also contactable via the Straight Talking International offices:

Tel: 0870 429 2108


Here is an interview with Graham:

Say It, Support It, Shut It! from Paul Bridle on Vimeo.

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