Suddenly, running toward the free-range chickens, a four year old boy dashes away from his mother as they are leaving the Mexican restaurant. He wants to get close to them.
Alarmed and concerned about the little boy’s safety, I watched as the mother called to the boy repeatedly. He ignored her until she called again more firmly and held up two fingers, as if to say, “This is it. I have counted to two.”
As if by magic, the wild little boy stopped, studied Mom’s two fingers, and quickly ran back to her. She gently but firmly clasped his hand headed for their vehicle. No yelling. No hitting. No fuss.
I couldn’t help myself. At the risk of appearing crazy or frightening, I got out of my car and made a beeline to the van they entered. I counted four others: two other boys, a dad, and a grandpa.
“They are going to think I’m weird, but I must know,” I thought as I hurried toward the van.
As they pulled out of their parking space I cautiously approached the passenger-side window where Grandpa sat. Thankfully, the window was rolled down a bit and I called in, looking right at the dad who was driving, “Your wife held up two fingers and your son came straight back out of the parking lot and away from the roosters! I’m amazed!”
Thankfully, the window rolled down a bit more as Grandpa grinned, nodded, and said something to the father. Smiling, the dad said, “She’s only held up three fingers once.”
Then, looking over Grandpa’s shoulder to Mom, and I congratulated her leadership. She smiled with confident, gentle satisfaction. Maybe it was then that the Dad said, “She’s only held up three fingers once.”
Either way, it was so encouraging to see such confident, firm, calm and assertive leadership. She seemed so peaceful through it all. So did the boy.
Topic: Assertive Leadership. What are your thoughts?