A few months ago, as I was walking my two daughters to school, one of their classmates gave me the thumbs up and shouted “heeeyyy, Captain!”
Young as the lad was, I congratulated myself that someone had clearly recognised my innate leadership capabilities and felt compelled to verbalise his respect for them, and me. Chest puffed out I strutted across the playground, until one of my daughters pointed out that the t-shirt I was wearing had a Captain America star on the front of it. Doh!
Today, as I was getting dressed, my eldest daughter asked to choose a t-shirt for me to wear, and picked the Captain America one. “Do you remember the time …” she said, and burst out laughing at my recalled vain stupidity.
Young as my daughter is, her laughter is well-founded and a useful lesson for me. I wear a virtual t-shirt at work, one with Manager written on it. People no doubt afford me respect, or at least deference, because of it. I hope they also afford me respect because of my actions. But from my side it can be hard to tell the difference. So I’ll do well to keep any strutting in check.