Leadership Lessons from the Mall
The hordes of shoppers. Some striding with purpose while others aimlessly lollygag. Children lining up to see Santa. Holiday decorations more elaborate than the year before.
It’s that time of the year.
This year, more than ever, you don’t need to venture out to the stores. The online giants are delighted to offer an alternative. A few clicks replace endlessly circling in search of a parking spot and standing most of the day in lines.
I’ve never been one for shopping, malls, crowds, or any of it. It’s far better to avoid it all. I can rewind my own internal tapes and hear my dialogue: grumbling about the parking, the crowds, the waiting, the hassle.
But this year I suppose I feel somewhat nostalgic for it all. So, I do something unexpected and head to the mall.
“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.” –Zig Ziglar
Decide in Advance
I decide to enjoy it: the parking, the bitter wind as I leave the car for the store, the mall.
Inside, it’s warm, inviting. The first person I see is there to assist. He’s an older gentleman, kind, not intrusive and with equal doses of friendliness and helpfulness. We talk about his family and his plans to go home for the holidays. Like the song says, “I’ll be home for Christmas!” he says, laughing as much to himself as to me. He’s had some health problems, I learn, and they are behind him now. He’s glad to be back at work.
Classical music is playing and it’s live. I venture over to the piano and, eyeing a chair, slide into it and close my eyes. It’s a medley from the Sound of Music, which conjures up my childhood when we would all gather around for the yearly show on television. I must be getting old, I think, to be sitting here in a mall, listening to music, and not rushing in the least. Opening my eyes, I watch a young mom pushing a stroller. Her baby’s laugh seems to be part of the Sound of Music track.
“People may hear your words, but they you’re your attitude.” –John Maxwell
I get up and walk through the mall, enjoying the decorations and the energy of the crowd.