When is the last time you read a warning label on a product? Some are quite funny, while others seem plain dumb with the question, “Who would do that anyway?” But nonetheless, they are printed right there on the product (fine print sometimes).

Here are just a few…
A cup of coffee – Caution, content may be hot.
Hairdryer – Do no use while sleeping
Wheelbarrow – Not intended for highway use
Baby Stroller – Remove child before folding
Nyquil – May cause drowsiness

You get the idea. I often wonder who made the particular blunder for that specific warning label?


Segue to leadership…
It is often said that perception is not reality. But can everybody be wrong? A very good friend of mine says, “Everybody can’t be wrong about the same thing.” Perception becomes a way of understanding or interpreting things. At the same time, reality is the state of things as they actually exist rather than as they may be perceived or might be imagined. That said, what if we had a warning label about us for others to see printed right there on the package, that package being us?

Here might be a few…
Do not think on your own – I micromanage
Do not disagree with me – I am moody
Do not cause conflict – I am insecure
Do not outshine me – I am passive-aggressive
Do not have a different opinion – I am highly flammable
Please handle with care – I get my feelings hurt easily
Be a yes person – If you are not, I will find fault
I’m sure you can add to the list…

How refreshing would it be if these warning labels were reversed?
Think on your own – I delegate
It’s ok to disagree with me – Does not mean that you are wrong
Sometimes there will be conflict – I will not run from it, and I will support you
Outshine me – The better you are, the better we are
Have a different opinion – I encourage diverse thinking
Please handle with honesty – I will not get my feelings hurt easily
Do not be a yes person – I do not want minions around me

However, I believe the leadership we lead with does carry labels. You might say, “Well, that’s not how I lead,” or “I don’t care what someone else thinks.” But at the same time, we would quickly say that’s not the reputation we want. Well, is everyone wrong, then?

What are you doing to ensure that you have positive leadership labels instead of warning labels? In the end, we are all wearing some type of leadership label. The question is, what does your leadership label say about you?

Go be a great educator and leader today… Our future needs it…

Remember… Think Leadership and Be For Others…

©2023 J Clay Norton

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