This old Cajun adage is often quoted but maybe less often understood. A modern-day translation might read something like, “Hang in there!” or “Finish strong!”
The Cajun people and the people of South Louisiana have certainly endured their share of tough times. We’ve gone through numerous hurricanes, a damaging oil spill, and economic downturns, but now we’re back – better than ever. This saying is a testament to the resiliency and enduring spirit of the Cajun people, and I think leaders can take a page from their playbook.
Lache Pas La Patate:
- Values. Cajuns are known for their strong family and community values. During difficult times everyone comes together and helps each other out. In the face of adversity in your business, organization, or industry hold firmly to the values and beliefs that got you where you are. Don’t ever compromise your values. Remember, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”
- Courage. Someone has got to make the tough decisions. The inconvenient, uncomfortable, and unpopular decisions are why they pay you ‘the big bucks’! Leadership is not a popularity contest. Do you bury your head in the sand or grab the bull by the horns? Remember that by making no decision, you are, in effect, making a decision.
- Integrity. Integrity and trust are the foundation of great leadership. If people feel that they can’t trust you in one area, then they can’t – and won’t – trust you at all. Are you doing what you say you’ll do and fulfilling your commitments?
- Commitment. In good times and bad, your team needs a leader who won’t quit, give up, or throw in the towel. Obviously. But your team also needs a leader who won’t waver, doubt, or question your mission and purpose. Are you having second thoughts, or are holding firm to your mission?
- Hope. Like the Cajuns, great leaders are dealers in hope. Your outlook has a tremendous impact on those around you. People figure that if you’re spouting gloom and doom, or if you’re projecting optimism about the future, you must be right because you’re in the know. What kind of outlook are you presenting?
- Joie de vivre. (Love of life). Cajuns need no excuse for a party, and it’s this spirit of fun and lightheartedness that often helps us get through the tough times with our sanity intact. Are you creating an enjoyable work environment of camaraderie and celebration or one of serious melancholy and misery? Remember, you set the tone for your work environment – for better or worse.
Try taking a page from the Cajun’s playbook, and Lache pas la potate!
Action Time! What will you:
- start doing,
- stop doing, or
- continue doing or do differently
to emulate the Cajuns and lache pas la patate? Use the comment block below to tell us!