Image via Nomad_Soul/

Leave the Drama Outside

The best teams reduce drama and focus on making their teammates feel good.

Melissa, the young woman who cuts my hair, is wise beyond her years. She’s 26 years old and got into town 7 or 8 months ago. Within a week of getting here, she had three job offers from different salons and was promoted to assistant manager in the one she selected about three months after she started.

Once a month we have an hour long conversation about music, favorite vacation spots, working out and business while she cuts my hair.

Yesterday, I asked Melissa how, as a manager, she deals with the drama that can come up when you lead a team. She said that there really isn’t much drama in her shop because everyone follows the rule.

What’s the rule?

The rule is that when you walk in the door, you leave whatever’s going on that looks like drama out on the sidewalk. You’re welcome to pick it back up again on your way out, but it can’t come inside with you.

“The people who are successful in this industry, Melissa told me, are the ones who are motivated by making other people feel good about themselves.  The prima donnas and the drama creators usually aren’t very successful.”

The more I thought about what Melissa said, the more I realized how useful her rule can be in the practice of mindful leadership. If you’re focused on what’s best for the person in front of you, it doesn’t leave a lot of room for non-productive drama.

There’s a simple way to turn what Melissa said into a mindful leadership practice for you and your team. When you feel the stuff that should have been left outside starting to sneak in, use that as a cue to focus instead on creating a good experience for someone else.

I’d love to hear any stories you want to share about the difference that’s making. Please share them in the comments.

Image via Nomad_Soul/