Thursday, August 30, 2012

What Makes A Good Leader?

   Here at The Sabot School of Etiquette, we touch on leadership and include a few tips in our written materials we send home with each student. We famously say: "Leaders always make others feel special." What makes a good leader? What makes a great leader? Let's start with the basics.
  • Leaders always make others feel special. Leaders make the other person feel as though they have been heard. Leaders make the other person feel like the only person in the room.
  • Leaders lead by example. If you as a leader do one thing and say another, your followers are listening to lip service. Lip service leads to mistrust.  
  • Leaders know ignorance is no excuse. As children, we make excuses because we are learning and our parents give us a childhood of chances so we may learn year by year to make good decisions for ourselves. As adults, we cannot say we did not know. As adults, it is our responsibility to know.
  • Learning to be a leader, if you do not fail a few times, you are not trying hard enough. You may not be making competent, correct decisions for yourself. Failing is good for us because failing forces us to reevaluate our positions and decisions, and move on. 
  • Leaders do not blame other people. Blaming other people for your position in life is ignorant and gets you no where. We all make 1000 different decisions every day about how we are going to live our own lives. So, whatever your issue is, it's not your fault. OK, then what? What are you going to DO about it? How are you going to overcome your non-idyllic circumstance? What is your plan to raise yourself out of your circumstance and move forward in your life?  
  • Leaders are always positive. If you try never to say anything negative, no one can say you said something negative. Think about it. Let's face it, who wants to be around someone who is negative and condescending all the time? Don't we all, rather, want to be around someone who is positive? 
   Leading is very hard. It is most challenging. Leading is difficult on a daily basis. Every day, you must wake up ready to make your 1000 decisions and make your case to accomplish your tasks, listen and hear, compromise and compliment, take criticism and kindly give constructive criticisms. It has been said if you ask 20 people in a room what they think, you will get 20 different answers. Taking those 20 different answers and making a plan forward requires diligence, diplomacy and discipline.
   We all look to our leaders to be better than we are. We may at times look to our leaders for guidance. We may see some of our leaders we can best relate to as role models. Who are your role models?   

Friday, August 24, 2012

The R.s.v.p., the "and Guest", Family Behaviour, & Wedding Crashing

   In light of the recent alleged Kennedy wedding crashing by Taylor Swift with her boyfriend Conor Kennedy, I thought it would be a good time to discuss the R.s.v.p.
   Allegedly, Conor Kennedy did not R.s.v.p. to his cousin, Victoria Gifford Kennedy, the Mother-of-the-Bride, when invited to a family wedding. Instead, he texted his cousin 1 hour before the wedding ceremony was to begin asking her if he could attend AND bring his famous girlfriend. She responded with a text clearly stating "Please do not come." The real question here is: Why did Conor not R.s.v.p. to the family wedding, and did Conor's invitation say "and Guest" or not.
  Even within families, believe it or not, there are rules of behavior that should be adhered to, or one ends up the inconsiderate, "bomb throwing" relative no one wants to deal with but has to invite out of respect for the family.   
   Clearly, Conor Kennedy, raised in high society and 18 years of age, is old enough to know better than to pull this stunt. He showed zero respect for his family who were nice enough to respect him and invite him to the family wedding. Conor should have known that for a sit down dinner, seating charts are worked out many weeks in advance.  Tables are set by the wedding planner the night before the event. As well, now days, there is a modern "Reply Card" and stamped envelope one needs only to tick off and drop in the mail by a certain "R.s.v.p. By" date.
  Apparently, when The-Mother-of-the-Bride asked Conor not to attend, he chose to completely ignore her and came to the wedding with his famous girlfriend, Taylor Swift. According to Mrs. Kennedy, after the couple arrived, she greeted them, and as politely as she could, asked them to please leave, twice. Allegedly, Miss Swift walked right past her as if she was not present.
  To be fair, Miss Swift may or may not have known she was not invited. However, she should have known her fame would cause an unwanted disruption at a wedding and may potentially take attention away from the Bride. Possibly a bit of a "bomb thrower" herself, she should not have accompanied her boyfriend last minute to this family wedding.  
   Y'all remember the R.s.v.p. Respondez-vous S'il Vous Plait. Or, please respond. Please do respond as soon as you receive the written snail mailed invitation or the e-vite/e-mail on your computer.
   Do not wait for your computer program to send you reminders that you have not responded. Do not wait for the Mother-of-the-Bride to call up your lazy, sorry, unorganized self and ask if you are coming to the wedding, or not.
   As a Registered Bridal Consultant, I can tell you there are two types of wedding customers. Those who immediately send in their R.s.v.p., then come in to purchase their wedding gifts as soon as they received the invitation (67%), and those pain in the rear, bomb throwing customers who, on the way to the wedding, silmoutaneously R.s.v.p and fly in the door in a panic to purchase a last minute gift for the Bride (33%). Then, these chaotic nincompoops have the gaul to complain that everything on the Bridal Registry is all ready filled. Really? Ya think? All I can say is some people love  and thrive on chaos, and if they do not have chaos present in their lives, they create chaos for themselves so they may wallow in it and in their minds, continue to thrive.
   Listen up. Weddings are very expensive and require lots of time consuming work from many family members, especially from the Mother-of-the-Bride. The family goes through many months of planning and tons of trouble to give their guests a memorable, meaningful ceremony and a delicious and entertaining Wedding Sit Down Dinner or Wedding Reception.
   Get your head out of your own egg shell of a world and get your act together. Prioritize your social schedule and social life and send in your R.s.v.p. A.S.A.P.!!