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Do You Ever Think The Worst? Why Leaders Should Reconsider (Story)

Don’t Think The Worst in Others Leaders – Beware

Powerful Leadership Story to Consider

I love the following story. It has application for all leaders. With so much negative coming to those of us in positions of leadership it is sometimes easy to think the worst in people.

Leaders should assume positive intent until given a reason otherwise. The following story I recently heard illustrates how thinking negatively can impact a leaders decisions. Beware! The stories we create in our heads can impact the way we communicate with others.

Once there was a farmer whose plow had recently broke. He needed to plow his fields quickly before they dried. He decided to ask his neighbor, an old man several fields away, to borrow his machine. He thought to himself, “My neighbor is a good man, I am sure he has his field plowed by now and will be more than happy to let me borrow his machine.”

So the farmer began to walk the several fields to his neighbors house. After the first field he walked, he started to think, “I hope my neighbor has actually finished all of his plowing, or I won’t be able to use his machine.”

After a few more minutes of worrying and continuing to walk, the farmer thinks to himself, “What if his plow is old and on its last leg – he won’t let me use it, will he?”

After walking another field the man thinks, “You know that neighbor hasn’t been very helpful in the past, I reckon he won’t be very generous in lending me his plow even if it is working and he had all his fields done several weeks ago!”

As he arrives at his neighbors farm and is walking up to the porch he continues thinking, “He can really be a mean old guy. I bet even if the machine is just sitting there, working great and all is plowing is done he won’t let me borrow it, just so he can watch me go to ruin!”

The man knocks on the door and his old neighbor answers, “Good morning friend, what can I do for you?” The farmer answers with his eyes bulging, “You can take your stupid plow and put it where the sun don’t shine!”

What stories are you creating in your head friends?

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