Executive Subscription

Sign up & maximize your leadership effectiveness with our weekly digest of strategies, insights, and tips ─ delivered straight to your inbox.

Layer boundary

ColleagueCorner: Leadership in the Ladies Room

Posted by Carrie Kish on 01/12/2016

I was called to leadership in the lady’s room today. There was a long line, which isn’t an unusual phenomenon, and there were two stalls that nobody was using. I assumed, like everyone else, that there was something wrong with those stalls. But nobody had looked in them since I had entered. The line continued to move with everyone simply ignoring those stalls. Well, I decided to look. And, you know what? There was absolutely nothing wrong with either one. They were just empty. So, I announced it to the women waiting and we got the line moving.
What else in our lives do we just assume is off limits or unavailable? What else do we simply ignore and do like others are doing? Why don’t we check? Sometimes, it’s because we are lazy. Sometimes, it’s because we’re afraid of what we’ll find. We don’t want to see what we imagine might be there. Sometimes, we are afraid of offending others. We assume that they must have investigated that option already and we don’t want to insult them or embarrass them by suggesting a rather obvious solution. Sometimes, we might be afraid to embarrass ourselves. We don’t want to stand out or to make a scene. And, sometimes, we are afraid of letting go of our current position (like losing our place in line) because we don’t know if we’ll be able to get it back. We want to be able to secure our new position without letting go of the old one first. And the last lesson, for me today, is that necessity is the mother of invention. When you feel some urgency (if you get my meaning), you can get really creative and inventive.


Footer border