How To Differentiate A Leader With Other People?

Aatir Abdul Rauf


Aatir Abdul Rauf


Sep 26, 2022

How To Differentiate A Leader With Other People?

"Aatir, have you heard about my shoelace theory?"

My spoon, full of piping hot biryani, was still in mid-flight when I abruptly paused & looked up at my colleague.

"The what?", I asked in a quizzical tone reminiscent of someone who was recommended a dish with a needlessly alien name in a fine-dining restaurant.

"The shoelace theory, Aatir. Let me explain."

I took a quick bite, sipped hard on my already empty soda and reached for the tissue box which I sadly discovered was empty.

He continued, "There are 5 types of workers & only some are cut out to be leaders.

This is best explained by the following scenario.

Imagine someone came out of a shopping center with heavy bags in each hand. Then, they hopped on a metro train to go home.

They don't find a place to sit because it's rush hour so they decide to stand. They find the metro floor is filthy, so they don't want to put their bags down.

Now, their shoelaces happen to be untied.

Someone standing next to them notices this fact.

Now, depending on their mindset, they'll act differently.

Person A: They choose to remain silent because it's not their problem.

Person B: They tell someone else about it & chat about it.

Person C: They get the person's attention & point to their open laces.

Person D: They tell the person & offer to hold their bags while they tie their shoelaces.

Person E: They tell the person & offer to tie their shoelaces for them."

He took a pause expecting a light bulb to explode on top of my dull mind.

When he noticed that I was wearing a bored expression much like that of a lifeguard at the Olympic swimming heats, he decided to elucidate.

"You see, Aatir, each worker represents an attitude when a problem at the company surfaces.

Worker A keeps to themselves. They couldn't care less.

Worker B prefers to gossip about the issue at a distance.

Worker C is slightly better as they at least point out the issue to the concerned person but don't offer any help.

Worker D wants to help but decides to take the hard route. The bags may be too heavy for them & the transfer will take longer than them just tying the laces.

Worker E calls out the problem & offers to solve it.

You can see who has a leader attitude. What do you think?"

"I have a question.", I asked with the playful zest of a toddler who just discovered the joys of an iPad.

"Shoot.", my colleague smirked as he lent back on his chair.

"Why didn't this person just call an Uber?"

"OMG, Aatir, that's besides the bloody point! Why do you alwa...oh never mind. Eat your biryani."

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