Thursday, June 9, 2011

Do You Make this Critical Leadership Mistake?

“I don’t care if people like me, as long as they respect me!”

This quote has bounced around the workforce to the point of cliché.  On the surface, the idea seems solid: If you spend all your time worrying about whether or not your followers like you, you will be paralyzed for fear of making an unpopular decision.  No one respects an indecisive leader.

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Have you ever said those words?  If so, I challenge you to take a quick look inside your own heart.  Are you using that phrase merely as an excuse to disregard the ideas, opinions and feelings of those you lead?

Sometimes a leader has to make the tough decisions and forsake temporarily being liked for the overall good of the mission... still, there is a line between leading with authority and being authoritarian.

Hopefully, you are lucky enough to have someone on your team who is willing to call you out, in private, on your mistakes.  A leader held accountable for their leadership style is truly blessed.  Whether or not you have that, take time for personal reflection and hold yourself accountable for your actions and decisions.

Have you ever had to make a leadership decision that rubbed people the wrong way and cost you some friends?  Looking back, was it in the interest of the mission, or in the interest of your own personal agenda?  In retrospect, could you have approached your decision differently?


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