It started out as a typical day for Antoinette Tuff at Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy Elementary School. When suddenly a gunman entered the school stating “We are all going to die today”.
During this unexpected moment of crisis, she had a choice to react with panic or to stay calm. Gratefully, she chose to stay calm and assured. How? By being grounded in peace at a time she needed to be during a real-life situation.
Even though that very morning, she was contemplating how she would handle the multiple stressors in her personal life – the recent abandonment from her husband that had prompted a suicide attempt, financial hardship, and the responsibilities of her 22-year-old son with disabilities. She admits in a media interview, she was in the mindset of putting one foot in front of the other when in an instant, her focus changed. When she saw the killer eyes of the gunman, she knew this wasn’t a joke.
Peace is a crucial position of power.
When you walk into work you too may be facing many personal stressors much like Antoinette. Hopefully you won’t be facing a gunman. Yet, as a leader, you may be facing budgets that need to be met, demands from your superiors, and unhappy employees or customers.
Even though, as a leader, you are in a position of authority, you will not be as effective if you don’t have peace. More specifically, you will not have power if you don’t have peace.
When your back is against the wall, or figuratively, if you are under the gun for productivity, sales, and results, are you able to have the same peace that Antoinette exuded? Despite whatever personal stressors shadow you, as you open your office door, are you able to:
Bring a calm presence amidst chaos?
Inspire two bickering co-workers to resolve their differences?
Speak with ease, clarity, and reassurance to an angry customer?
Whether in a home or a workplace, where there is strife, conflict, or tension, peace will not be found. As a leader, it is your responsibility to be the one who models working out disagreements for the greater good. If you are at peace, you are powerful. Not only powerful, you are unstoppable when it comes to inspiring your team to bring out their best.
Make the Conscious Choice to be at peace so no matter what conflict or threat you may face, you are powerful
This e-Zine is based on the inspirational story about how an ordinary woman showed extraordinary courage in diverting a school shooting. Reference: Tuff, Antoinette, “Nobody’s Going to Die,” Guideposts 69(2), April, 2014, p. 44-49.