A MIRROR REFLECTS A LEADER ORIGINATES
A surly salesperson has surly customers.
A grouchy worker has a grouchy boss, if the boss lacks real leadership.
This is because of the human tendency to reflect the attitude or mood of the person we are facing.
The natural leader must be superhuman in this respect. He must not reflect the moods of the people around him. He must be superior to these casual influences. The real leader adopts for him a mood that others will reflect.
When the real leader is in the presence of someone with an undesirable mood, the leader says silently to himself: “Well, look how he is trying to lead me astray. But I’ll be superior to him. I’ll adopt for myself a more favorable, a constructive mood. I’ll set up a better attitude and maintain it until he is following me.”
The leader must, in such ways, be superior to his environment.
He adopts the attitudes that are desirable.
He maintains those attitudes through hell or high water.
Call him an actor if you will, but he remains an originator, not a reflector.
~ Donald & Eleanor Laird, The Technique of Building Personal Leadership, (1944)