A beginning…Leadership means standing for something

I’ve never blogged before. I find the concept rather terrifying. To begin putting down in writing my thoughts, feelings and a manifestation of values about subjects I’ve spent twenty+ years contributing to feels strange in that I don’t want to lock in stone a view by expressing it on ‘paper’. And I do want to attempt to offer even a tiny bit of something that may help you the reader, make your life easier and perhaps even find more fun in your work and life. Change is ever about embracing discomfort!

I will be posting my own personal views, current at the time of writing, in the sure knowledge that they will change. A realization from a career in leadership and management development, or simply from my life, is that everything changes. Such change may offer wonder and joy, moving forward to an even more positive future. So the disclaimer here shall be that you, the reader make up your own mind on these matters. If what I offer doesn’t make sense, then challenge it. If it does, embrace it and make it yours.

I’m aiming to post a blog approximately bi-weekly. If you value what you are reading feel free to sign-up for notification of new posts. If you have any constructive feedback, please drop me a line via alan@coachwithwise.com

This week has again highlighted what I’ve found to be the most significant challenge of choosing to lead; that in doing so it is necessary to take a position, to choose to stand for something and thereby not for something else. This results in people amongst your audience who may follow your viewpoint and people who may even hate the ground you stand on. Leadership is not a Facebook competition for ‘likes’. It’s about choosing to be faithful to your own sense of values and beliefs, to follow where they take you, to be authentic and true to who you are. This realization I’ve seen as a painful one for many a newly-minted leader / manager. Particularly painful for those who’ve moved from amongst their colleagues to a role of leadership amongst the same people. It can be a hard place, often resulting in the loss of friendships as the new role requires that the best interests of individuals be balanced with the needs of the collective. As leaders, keeping everyone happy is a non-starter, pursuit of which is guaranteed to inflict many a sleepless night and worried day. Embracing the challenge of leadership can be a lonely journey at times and if you intentionally seek to identify your tribe or network to support you, it can be wonderfully rewarding.

Embodying the principle of non-attachment, at least to a relative extent, can help immensely. Yes, we can still care about everyone and indeed I argue must care for all those we purport to lead. Leadership is a wonderful privilege for those of us that can find and hold onto the equilibrium point balancing between caring for individuals and caring about the collective. It’s about wherever possible, targeting longer term benefit and denying the temptation of short term ease and results.

So I invite you as a leader, whether newly-minted for whom this message may be revolutionary or as an experienced leader needing a simple reminder, remember that it’s ok not to make everyone happy with your decisions. True Leadership is about standing up for something.

Alan Wise, September 16, 2018

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Disclaimer:

All views expressed on this site are my own and do not represent the opinions of any entity whatsoever with which I have been, am now, or will be affiliated.