I am the kind of leader who has a lot of ideas. When someone presents a problem, I am very quick to think of possible solutions, and, since I tend to think out loud, I express them. It doesn’t mean I want to tell them what to do, I am just trying to co contribute to their list of options. It drives my wife crazy. She wants me to just listen and sympathize and I want to solve and move on. We have been working on this for 55 years now. I have solved the problems of our communication many times, she is still in the discussion stage. I hope we make it!
I have a sign in my office. It is right over there, at eye level, sitting on my book shelf so I can easily see it at a glance. I have had it for years. I cannot remember it not being there. My sign speaks of something I learned about leadership, especially in a Christian organization, early on, because everyone has an opinion and some, like me, are quick to express it.
My sign says: “Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome”.
That was a hard truth to learn and one that I have really worked to maintain throughout the years. Opposing thought (especially from friends) can paralyze you in leadership. You just can’t please all the people all the time. You can’t even be right all the time. But, you can try your best. That would include getting the best counsel available. It would include gathering all the facts possible. But in the end, most of the time, you have to follow your heart and some will never understand that.
Fear of failure, or criticism, or unpopularity is not the issue. Doing what is right is the only issue!
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