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Leadership In Life: People Watching At LAX


Over the weekend I flew from New Zealand to Chicago with a stopover at LAX. Usually LAX instills a quiet fear within me. Long lines. Grumpy TSA agents. Masses of people.

When I talk with traveler friends, no one lists LAX as a favorite airport.

Let’s be honest though, LAX offers some of the world’s best people watching. As my daughter pointed out in the customs line — “That lady has a cat!!” It about sums it up.

Like the MasterCard ad — LAX is priceless.

During my perusal of humanity at travel, I noticed people trying their hardest to get somewhere, who kept getting in the way of other people trying to get somewhere.

Funny thing is, no one wakes up saying “I’m planning on getting in the way and causing chaos at the airport today while I travel.”

Yet the reality of a lot of people intending to go somewhere at once… well, if you’ve been to LAX before you understand.

Here’s the leadership lesson.

I need to trust people intend to do something good.

Think of it this way. You hired good people. They don’t wake up trying to frustrate you. They care about the same things you do. They want to do a good job, they want to succeed.

At the start of every workday, employees intend to do well.

And then, like the simultaneous arrival of an Air India and an Air Canada flight at LAX, it turns to chaos.

So before we fire people, or withhold a flexible scheduling perk, let’s remember how in the end, we’re all just trying to get the job done.

How do your people frustrate you? Do you think they intended to? If not, what was their intention?

Dan LakeTrust, Team, StrComment