Check Your Leadership Punctuation Marks
Modern technology provides wonderful tools for our use. For the last few decades my constant companion has been a computer. My keyboard usually sits within close reach on the desk where I work. Seldom have we been separated for long stretches at a time, even during holidays and other special occasions. Therefore, I have learned a great deal from my computer.
Something struck me the other day about my keyboard. Any typewriter is arranged in such a way that the keys you use the most are right under your finger tips. This is still true although the original design actually slowed some typing sequences to keep the keys from jamming. The keys you use less often are within reach, but sometimes you have to stretch for them. Likewise, you must access the least-used keys by holding down the shift key. The arrangement is quite orderly according to the frequency of need.
Guess which keys are at the opposite ends of the keyboard, both having to be shifted to upper case to access them. That’s right, the exclamation point (!) and the question mark (?). The former is in the extreme upper left-hand corner, and the latter is in the extreme lower right-hand corner. The exclamation point really gives me fits. I have to think about it each time I want to use it
@1! (There, I finally got it.) I don’t have many problems doing commas and periods; I use them more often, and they come naturally. But exclamation points give me fits Q@#!
You know something? In an indirect way, the arrangement of a keyboard reveals something about who we are. I guess we all tend to make a greater number of bland, traditional statements that need nothing more than a comma or period to complete them. We live most of our lives in the “ordinary” mode and need to do little more than signal to others when we’re through with a thought or action.
Why don’t we live more in the exclamation mode? Why are the question marks not more numerous? Is it just because we have to stretch a little farther on the keyboard to “access” them, or is it because we have to stretch our spirits a little more than what we feel comfortable with? (Oops
Q1@! I ended that last sentence with a preposition.)
Leaders live with questions and explanation marks. This is what drives production and basic human growth. Pay attention the punctuation you use!