green apple unquintessential leaderIn Dan Rockwell’s latest blog post, he describes the characteristics and the effects of “green apple” (unquintessential) leaders on organizations. He contrasts that with the attributes and effects of “ripe apple” (quintessential) leaders.

Please take a few minutes to read Rockwell’s post.

Then, as always, because this is what quintessential leaders do, let’s each assess ourselves to see whether we are green apples or ripe apples. As individuals. As team members. As leaders.

As Rockwell states, we all can exhibit green apple traits at times. That’s part of being human, unfortunately. But my request of each of us today is not to evaluate someone else – as Rockwell proposes at the end of his post – but to evaluate ourselves.

Then via comments here on the blog, share with us a green apple trait that you have successfully turned into a ripe apple trait and tell us how you accomplished that. There is much we have to share with each other in our collective journeys to become quintessential leaders.

I’ll put the first one out there. I’ve struggled with anger – sometimes rage – all my life and still do at times. I’ve always worked hard, thanks to a late-night heartfelt talk with my mom when I was around eight years old about it, to contain, control, and eliminate my anger in every part of my life. Sometimes I’m successful. Sometimes I’m not.

But in the course of doing some really stupid and potentially dangerous things during my life when anger and rage got the best of me, I realized along the way that not only was I hurting myself by getting so worked up, but I had the potential to hurt others because of my lack of self-control.

So, I learned and am still learning that anger is my dangerous emotion. I always need to be conscious of that and be aware when it makes its sudden and flashpoint appearance. I immediately extricate myself from the situation that causes it. I walk away. I breathe deeply. I walk and talk myself through it until I get calmed down. Most of the time, this takes less than half an hour today (it used to take a whole lot longer, so I know I’m making progress here overall).

But, within the last year, I got a needed reality check that this is something that still is a pretty deep-rooted green apple trait that I have not completely succeeded in turning into a ripe apple trait.

I had a deeply personal situation where it took months to get over my anger and rage about the events surrounding it. red-appleEvery time I thought I was over it, it came back in full force – and, at times, even more strongly than when the situation and events happened – and consumed me all over again.

But the upside of this is that I was aware of it and my wholehearted desire was to eventually overcome it. So instead of giving up, quitting, and accepting it, I really worked very very hard and diligently on changing it, and with time and diligence, I made progress in ripening this trait.

But I know it’s still there and I know it’s a green-red apple trait, so my work is not done.

What is the green apple trait you are actively working on to turn into a ripe apple trait?

  1. DL Ross says:

    Green apple trait?? Mine would have to be I take criticism as a person attack therefore making me an absolute failure. This too is very deep rooted. I try, not always successfully, to listen and see the point. Sometimes I do, other times I shut down and don’t hear a thing.


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