Let Them Talk: More on Human Leadership

Let Them Talk is the name of Hugh Laurie’s blues album. I know some of you are saying to yourselves, Isn’t that a TI song? Well, sort of, but that’s Let ’em Talk; I’m talking about some far, far better music–blues music–called Let Them Talk, by the artist formerly known as Dr. House. House is such a cool show, and I still watch reruns when I can. And if you’ve never looked into the similarities between Dr. House and Sherlock Holmes, do yourself a favor and check it out. It’s fascinating.

One thing about both of those characters–Dr. House and Sherlock Holmes–was that they didn’t worry much about what others thought. The let them (or ’em, if you’re more of a TI fan) talk. Obviously, especially in Dr. House’s case, this can be taken to an unhealthy extreme. Though underneath it all, House was a vulnerable, flawed, brilliant human being, he had a certain who-gives-a-crap-what-you-think-of-me attitude that made him look like an ass, albeit a brilliant one, for most of the series.

This is where there’s a tricky tension for leaders, or anyone, really. While you don’t want to be an arrogant ass that never listens to anyone and doesn’t care what anyone thinks, you also don’t want to hold yourself hostage to the opinions of others in such a way that you spend a good chunk of your time managing your behavior for effect instead of investing your emotional energy into doing meaningful work.

So be bold, but be genuine. Be courageous, but be vulnerable. Be a leader, but be a human one.

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