Real leaders know that they can’t fight every battle.
But their values are crystal clear long before they are faced with critical decisions. So when a situation demands it they don’t hide, cower or flock…
This post honors the stands of a REAL LEADER that spent several years working overseas.
- Offered solutions: By reminding peers and executives that they could SIGNIFICANTLY decrease expenses, and increase efficiency, effectiveness, customer retention and revenue by holding people accountable to policies that were already in place.
- Spoke the hard truth: By pointing to the root cause of issues instead of agreeing with popular thinking that only treated symptoms.
- Maximized the resources he had: By playing to his strengths and the strengths of his team and leveraging old assets he kept expensive and critical operations running for nearly an entire year without a budget.
Titled leaders and employees are happier and more successful when they learn how to have discussions that include deep listening and truth telling. A failure to do either one equals missed opportunities for learning and growth. (This is also true for family and community members.)
As a result, I’ve been encouraging listening, thinking, and dialogue with increasing frequency and leveraging current events as examples of how we can do this.
As you watch the news, are you ever so aware of the pain and the division in our world that it is hard to think about anything else?
Recently in my home country:
- A woman was set on fire because of her faith.
- Two other women were punched because of their faith.
- Bombs were set off and people were stabbed for their faith.
- A man was killed because of the color of his skin.
- Several men were killed because of the uniform they wear.
Some have responded with fear and hate for everyone that is not like them.
Others deny that any problem exists and encourage blind acceptance.
Do we really have only two options???
I was recently visiting with someone about the goals of young professionals in a specific location. She said that everyone wants to be a manager.
So I asked why:
- Was it about the title?
- The perceived power?
- The paycheck?
- The perception that it is an easier job?
She said they want to sit behind a big desk and sign things.
Instantly I visualized a “manager” sitting behind a big desk with their feet resting on the desk reading a newspaper. A clap of his hands and someone comes running with a hot beverage. A loud shout results in several people running into his office – varying ages, heights, and ethnicities – all cowering in fear. “Yes Boss…” (True story!)
When my husband said we were asked to move to a giant sandbox on the other side of the world my stomach churned so hard I had to sit down.
How was this possible? We said we would go ANYWHERE in the world except – THERE! Scenes from movies and the news melded with my own fears and questions were fired off so rapidly my husband could not reply.
A “yes” wasn’t possible if I could not change my thinking:
- From the losses to the possible gains.
- From the challenges to the possible opportunities.
- From fear to faith.
Years ago I read a book called The Dream Giver.
It’s a beautiful little book that emphasizes that each one of us is born for a purpose. As children we often see this as our big dream. Often between childhood and adulthood we forget the dream or walk away from it because it seems impossible. And then one day we are reminded of the dream again and we make the choice to pursue the dream or to let it die forever. Then the book helps you anticipate and prepare for the challenges you will encounter as you journey from where you are to where that dream is.
I purchased the book in 2003 shortly after it was published, simply because I liked the author. As soon as I opened it I was hooked, because I had a dream as a child. It was a dream that I forgot all about as life happened. And then in 1999, I it came back full force. In 2001, I took my first very clear step toward the dream.
Since 2003, I’ve referred to that book several times a year. It’s highlighted, filled with notes, scribbles and pages that are bent back. In October 2010 I referred to it constantly as I launched a new consulting business in a city I had never lived in and knew no one but my husband.
In November 2012 just as my new business was gaining momentum, my husband was asked to accept a position a half a world away, and this quote from the book filled my mind…