No MBA mumbo-jumbo, just stuff that's worked through 30 years of team-building in business and the military.

Monday, September 9, 2013

The President's Leadership Challenge with Syria

Our president’s in a tough spot right now. Doesn’t matter if you like him or not, any leader can feel for him; he’s up against an almost no-win situation in Syria, leadership-wise.


His problem: Those he’s trying to lead aren’t buying his vision. If he does what he thinks is right, it might erode his leadership as followers, at home and internationally, become disillusioned. If he doesn’t, he could lose leadership cred too, as he might appear indecisive or willing to sacrifice his own integrity to be popular. To make things worse, every day of delay makes it less likely that his desired course of action will do any good.


You’ll have days like that, when life throws something at you that you never saw coming, and you don’t have time to paint the vision or build buy-in with your team. Every one of those situations is different, so I only have one piece of advice for you: Never, ever compromise your own integrity. Do what you think is right, explain why you think it’s right, and always be consistent. Then, your detractors will have to challenge you on values, not on actions.


Trust comes from walking your own talk. Down the road your team will likely forget the details. They’ll never forget it if you take the easy path against your own conscience.


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