Dale Carnegie Course: Week 8

This is part of a series on the Dale Carnegie Public Speaking Course.

Week 8 had two themes: Leadership, and Being More Flexible.

Leadership is outlined by the last set of principles from How To Win Friends and Influence People, which is about the difference between leading and commanding. Leaders are people who others willingly follow, not people who order others around. It’s much harder to be a leader, which is why there are so few. It’s very easy to simply issue orders and expect others to follow them, often with unpleasant repercussions if you should disobey. I’ve seen this style of management in every company I’ve ever worked for. It doesn’t work, by which I mean: based on the results, no management at all would give you better results than this style of management.

But people are complex creatures, and we’ve probably been taught the wrong way more often than the right way. You have to unlearn it all. That’s hard. It’s all about building other people up instead of knocking them down. A continuation of last week, really.

The second half was an exercise in theatre sports, in a way. We acted out a small rhyme or fairy tale using exaggerated actions. The idea was to do something you wouldn’t normally do, and see that it was ok. It was injecting a bit of playfulness, a bit of fun, into an all too serious world. Adult life is often serious and boring, and we all enforce this craziness on each other. Play and fun is corralled into more serious pursuits, as if playing is somehow not valuable. Playing is for kids, after all.

Bah. Playing is for everyone. It’s a nice day. Go outside and play!

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