These were the first words spoken to me as I walked down Broadway at 5:30 a.m. to the 110th Street subway station on Manhattan’s Upper West Side on a Tuesday morning. The man who spoke them – who was dressed nicely and held a paper coffee cup in his hand – looked as though he had spent a night drinking non-caffeine beverages. After walking in my direction, he veered off and continued walking, not pausing for a response from me.
Two days earlier, I had been seated on a bench below ground in the subway station waiting for the #1 train at 7:30 a.m. A woman at the other end of the bench stood up and asked me, “Is my skirt okay?” pointing to the back where she might have sat in some unknown substances left behind by previous sitters. “It looks fine,” I said, wondering if she wanted a comment on the cleanliness or the style. “Think this toothpaste is good?” she next asked pulling out a travel tube of Colgate from her purse. “Fine,” I said again. “What do you use?” she inquired. “Aquafresh,” I replied to the amazement of a man who sat between us and obviously wanted nothing to do with this needy person who continued with more questions. Finally when she asked, “Should I go to church or visit my mom?” I suggested church first as that would provide her a community to which she could ask her questions.
Some of us want to share information. And some of us want to ask questions.
That’s why I started a blog. Working to Be a Leader is my informal chronicle of observations, thoughts, and advice on how to level the leadership playing field. I get to share information here in a more casual format than my newsletter Dear Leader or on my website www.ltr-nyc.com.
And you get to share your thoughts as well. Or ask a question – or many of them.
Right now you’re probably wondering, “Why was Leigh up so early?” and “Why she at 110th Street when she lives in the 70’s?” As I’ll do with all your questions, I’ll answer them: 1) I was sticking to my usual routine of going to the gym at the beginning of my day, and 2) I was staying in temporary housing while renovation work on my apartment was being done.
Looking forward to hearing from you and reading your posts.