When a leader dodges the tough conversations, when they lack the courage to hold people accountable or the internal fortitude and strength of will to enforce standards, then they have let down their team and every stakeholder to which they have a responsibility. Furthermore, they’ve also betrayed themselves for instead of seizing the growth opportunity before them, they have chosen the effortless path of avoidance which leads only downward. You can avoid reality for a time but you can never escape the consequences of ignoring reality.
Leadership is about character. With the mantle of leadership comes the responsibility of upholding standards, to be the advocate for and the guardian of quality and excellence both in outcomes and in the development of those one leads. Failure to do so is to be unfaithful to the covenant a leader has with their followers for their growth and learning and with those that entrusted them with leadership i.e. to display a major deficit of character needed to be a leader. You may have the title but there is a resounding hollowness to it that will become apparent to all with the passage of time. The good news is that many resources exist to speed your growth: “Radical Candor”, “Thanks for the Feedback”, “Crucial Conversations”, “Changing the Conversation”, and “Difficult Conversations” to name a few.
Given that we are all role models to someone, we are all leaders to some extent. As Stephen R. Covey reminds us, “Leadership is a choice, not a position.” Our behavior teaches our value system; we owe it to all we love and hold dear to lead by example, to demonstrate good coping abilities and competent life management skills. Chief among these is a capability to discuss calmly important topics in a matter of fact way that drains them of unnecessary drama.
“The activity you are most avoiding contains your biggest opportunity.” – Robin Sharama, author, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari
“He who escapes a duty, avoids a gain.” – Theodore Parker, 1810-1860, reformer/abolitionist whose writings inspired speeches by Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Avoidance is the best short-term strategy to escape conflict and the best long-term strategy to ensure suffering.” – Berndon Burchard, author, High Performance Habits, WSJ best-seller
As always, I share what I most want and need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier