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  • Writer's pictureAlison Conigliaro-Hubbard

A Little Story About Clementines and Leadership for New Managers

The moral: Give your employees opportunities to shine, even if they don’t do it your way. There are many ways to get to the same result.

Last week I was sitting at breakfast at a hotel in Poland with my husband and my mom. My mom fancies herself a clementine aficionado - she eats them every day and perhaps for the last decade this has been the case. (True story)


They offered clementines at breakfast and my husband chose one. As he started to peel it, my mom, convinced her method was superior, looked at him and exclaimed, “No, you’re not supposed to peel it that way!”


Unfazed, he continued peeling and said, “What’s wrong with this way? I’ve got this!”


Mom retorted, “You’re supposed to start in the middle - it comes off faster that way.”


By the time she could get these words out, of course the clementine was peeled and ready to eat. Same result, different approach.


And there I am sitting there laughing to myself and thinking: ‘Ah ha! There’s a LinkedIN post right there!’ 


Whether we’re having breakfast or leading teams, there are always multiple ways to achieve a result. Often, there are even more ways than we can initially imagine to reach our goals.

As a manager, it’s important to recognize that your team members may approach challenges differently than you do. By giving them the freedom to find their own paths, not only will they accomplish the task, but they will also grow from the experience. And who knows, you might learn something new too!

Encouraging diverse methods can foster creativity, enhance problem-solving skills, and build a more resilient team. So, embrace the variety of approaches your team brings to the table and notice how it empowers them, and yourself, to thrive!

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