The other day, I stopped by to visit an irate property owner who was belittling our vegetation management crews and claiming they arrived late, slept through lunch and left early. Before arriving, I looked at their GPS records and noted that they were on-time. When I arrived at the house, I noticed that her yard was a mess, her porch was filled with stuff and her cars were filthy. As we spoke, she was filled with negativity and spewing about her kids, marriage, etc.
I inspected her trees and shared with her that they were cut to the line clearance specifications of her utility. We had done the right thing. She mumbled something in return and I told her that I hoped she had a good week.
Being negative or positive is a choice. Even when faced with extreme negativity, I encourage us all to practice positive leadership.
In the late 1960s and 1970s, American journalist Charles Kuralt had a long-running segment on the CBS Evening News entitled “On the Road” which featured uplifting and heartwarming stories gathered from across the nation. I contrast this with the polarized news today and the negativity found on social media that can be painful to bear. In today’s world, we can be a beacon of light.
I urge us to be supportive of one another in the field and our customers. Many people are struggling today with hardships but everyone responds well to positive feedback. Let’s be the team that inspires others.