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Leadership lessons from Mayberry

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With the passing of actor Andy Griffith in 2012, his most famous TV character, Sheriff Andy Taylor of Mayberry, is worth another look for his low-key brand of leadership.

A few of the sheriff’s lessons on caring more and fussing less:

  1. Lead from the heart, not by the book. As the person in charge, you are sworn to uphold laws, rules and policies. Andy’s deputy, Barney Fife, was certainly a letter-of-the-law kind of guy. But even though Andy appreciated Barney’s zeal, he also demonstrated that sometimes you ought to overlook a few things to make sure justice is done.
  2. Go easy on your people. However badly Barney, Otis or Gomer may have messed up, Andy cast them in a good light. “Barney!” he’d say. “You beat everything … you know that?” He showed us the value of loyalty.
  3. Slow down. Andy found time to take Opie fishing or Helen on a picnic. Despite the serious responsibilities of his job, there was no “tyranny of the urgent” for him.

— Adapted from “Leadership Lessons from Sheriff Andy Taylor,” Doug Dickerson blog, www.dougsmanagementmoment.blogspot.com.

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