You Still Have the Sales Tag on Your Coat

A few weeks ago,  I was speaking in the weekend services at a church in the Tampa area.  The church has one service on Saturday and two on Sunday.  I had just finished speaking at the first service on Sunday and was interacting with some of the people who had attended.  A lady approached me and whispered to me, "I need to tell you something."

Okay.  I thought she might be getting ready to tell me about something going on in her life, ask a question or comment on something I said during the message.  But here's what she said.

"You still have the sales tag on your coat."

"Where?" I said.

"Under your arm.  I saw it when you were speaking."

My heart skipped a beat.  I raised my arm and sure enough...there was the sales tag.  I had spoke Saturday night and Sunday morning with a sales tag hanging out of my coat!  I felt like an idiot!  I thanked her and obviously quickly removed the tag.  Even thought it was embarrassing at the the moment, I look back and have to laugh at myself.

The sales tag taught me a lesson that you might be able to identify with as well. 

You see...I have weaknesses that I cannot see.  Blind spots.  That's why they call them blind spots, right?  I can't correct what I can't see.  That's why I must have trusted friends who will be brutally honest and point them out to me. 

Effective leaders welcome critique and see it as a gift rather than a criticism.  If you're like me, when someone approaches me and begins to point out one of my weaknesses, I naturally tense up and and become defensive internally.  I have to resist this and see the critique as a gift that will make me a better leader and person.

Every criticism, critique and bit of feedback you receive, can make you better if you'll make this adjustment and see it as a gift.  Even if it is off base and not totally true, there is usually still a nugget of truth you can grab and use to help you improve as a leader.  

If you'll make this shift, it will totally change your attitude about critique and criticism.  Don't let your insecurities, pride or stubbornness rob you of an opportunity to grow as a leader.

Effective leaders take the initiative and ask people to help them see their blind spots.  If I had asked a friend or family member to check me before I went up to speak, I could have avoided an embarrassing situation. 

Don't sit back and hope someone will point out your blind spots.  Have a group of trusted friends who will be brutally honest with you and will help you grow as a leader through feedback.

Asking these type of questions will give you the knowledge you need to grow. 
  • What part of my personality can be offensive at times?
  • What would you change in my message that will make it more effective?
  • What is one thing I can do to be a better leader?
  • What is something I should stop doing to be a better leader?
Effective leaders are intentional about working on their weaknesses.  Guess what?  You haven't arrived as a leader and neither have I.  And we never will.  That's why we must continue to take the feedback we get and use it to continually grow as a leader.  Effective leaders are always in school.  They are always growing.  Always looking for ways to get better.

What is the "sales tag" that is in your life and leadership right now?  Get some help seeing it and then you can remove it.  Remove it and you'll be more effective as a leader.