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One of the things that I have noticed, in my keen observation, is that it is hard to see what is inside the toothpaste tube unless you squeeze it. Now that seems like a simple statement but just think about that for a moment. Without applying the pressure to the tube, the ingredients remain safely inside protected from the environment.

Recently I had the opportunity to witness the leadership skills of a person when everything seemed to go wrong. It was one of those days where it seemed like every turn revealed another problem. What I witnessed was a calm demeanor and control of the situations. I could not help but notice how the team reacted as their leader modeled an attitude that calmed the rest of the team.

I have also had the unpleasant opportunity to witness the exact opposite from others in leadership positions. Some of the traits that these others exemplified were anger, panic, rash decisions and criticism of the team members. However, one of the worst actions is when these leaders begin to blame openly the team members for the problems.

You might be wondering how any of this ties into toothpaste. Well I have often been told that the core foundation of a leader is their character. It is my belief that true character is revealed when pressure begins to mount on that person. Sort of like the pressure on the side of the toothpaste tube.

If you have a person, that can not control their actions or remain calm during stressful situations, there is a good chance that this person will cause problems when placed in a leadership role.

With any leadership role, there will be times when it will become stressful and quick decisions will have to be made. Leaders must maintain control of their actions to keep the team together. It will not take long for the team to fall apart once the leader has lost control of their personal actions.

This week’s experiment deals with personal examination. When placed in stressful situations, what does your true character reveal about yourself? Another way to find out is to answer this question, “In times of emergency, do people turn to me for guidance?”

It is time to be extremely honest with ourselves. When the pressure gets applied, what comes out?