People don’t always make sense. Those people, by the way, include you and me, fellow quintessential leaders, at times. It’s just a universal side effect of being human, it seems.

people don't make senseHowever, there are ways that people don’t make sense sometimes that go beyond the normal foibles we all exhibit from time to time (quintessential leaders learn what theirs are and stay alert and aware so that they can either eliminate them completely or shut them down before they get the upper hand).

It is in these ways that quintessential leaders stand out from everybody else, because these situations require an equanimity that few people have mastered and a big-picture objectivity that can easily separate facts from fiction. The fiction in these situations where people don’t make sense beyond the norm is what our own mental and emotional conditioned reactions try to convince us is true, while the reality is something quite different.

Let’s take a look at some examples in which people don’t make sense outside of the norm and then we’ll look at how we, as quintessential leaders, handle these situations.

One example is people who thrive on drama – their own or others’. We all know these kinds of people. They are not happy unless their worlds are filled with turmoil. If life doesn’t create drama for them, these people will expend all their energy to stand in the gap for life and ensure that drama surrounds them. How do they do it? By “stirring the pot,” gossiping, starting and spreading rumors, and pitting people against each other.

drama people quintessential leaderAlthough this will never make sense to quintessential leaders (or, hopefully, almost everyone else), quintessential leaders must handle drama people quickly, efficiently and effectively to minimize their impacts on everyone else. How?

The easiest and quickest way to stop a drama person in his or her tracks is to shut them down by refusing to engage. What a drama person is looking for beyond attention is people who will play their game. By silence, by dismissal, by stopping what they are doing at the quintessential leader’s door (and modeling this as an example for our teams), drama people will not get what they desire most.

Repeatedly encountering this will prove to be extremely frustrating and unfulfilling for drama people and will result in one of two responses: (1) an end to their drama, or (2) going somewhere else to see if their drama will be successful there. The first is preferable, but often the second response is most common.

Another example of people not making sense beyond the norm are people who run “hot” and “cold” and the switches are sudden, unexplained, but glaringly obvious. Ironically, these people tend to get very upset when they’re dealing with people like themselves who suddenly run cold, don’t explain, and disconnect.

hot and cold people quintessential leaderQuintessential leaders handle this situation where people don’t make sense by recognizing that it’s not personal. People who run “hot” and “cold” do this with everyone in their lives at some point. Quintessential leaders will always examine themselves to see if there is any evidence that they did or said something that contributed to the freeze-out – if they find anything, they will do their part to rectify it immediately, but even then there may not be a thaw – but in most situations, the chill is just the normal course of relationships for people who run “hot” and “cold.”

Quintessential leaders accept that – although they will usually leave the door open in case warmth returns, especially in close relationships where love and friendship are involved – but they don’t dwell on it nor do they respond to it unkindly and angrily. They recognize that it is what it is.

A third example of people not making sense outside of the norm is people who are the first (and loudest and longest) to open their mouths – or put hands to keyboard – about subjects, information, and ideas they are most ignorant about. With the advent of social media, this is easier and easier to discern.

ignorance quintessential leaderBeyond sighing and shaking our heads, quintessential leaders handle these kind of people by refusing to acknowledge them. To feed ignorance by responding to it is unquintessential leadership.

Quintessential leaders, by default, have as a core attribute a commitment to knowing, understanding, applying and living absolute right and wrong. Part of that commitment includes not being ignorant, not being a slave to anything but absolute right and wrong, and not allowing ourselves to get caught up in and carried away with the ignorance that is increasingly overtaking the world around us.

Quintessential leaders have their feet firmly planted on solid and sure foundations that are unshakable and unwavering, and which cannot be moved by anything so transitory as all forms of extremism, which by default is ignorance on steroids, that seem to be the prevailing winds of the world around us today.

By refusing to acknowledge this iteration of people who don’t make sense outside of the norm, quintessential leaders prove themselves to be above any kind of fray and wise as serpents and harmless as doves. That is our noblest goal and quest in this life, I believe.

I’ve given three examples of people who don’t make sense outside of the ways we all don’t make sense in minor ways from time to time. I’ve shown how we as quintessential leaders should react and respond (notice that these responses require that we keep our emotions under control, perhaps the hardest battle we all deal with).

The question I leave with you is what other examples can you provide? And how should we, as quintessential leaders, handle these examples?

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