Leadership and Its Enemies

Everything about being a leader is like being a parent. It is about committing to the well-being of those in our care and having a willingness to make sacrifices to see their interests advanced so that they may carry our banner long after we are gone.

Simon Sinek, Leaders Eat Last

Leadership is not necessarily defined by what you do when everything goes well, but is perhaps defined more by what you do in a crisis.

In a crisis, if you choose to save yourself instead of saving your team, then you don’t get to talk about trust and loyalty.

In a crisis, if you choose to avoid accountability instead of claiming the blame for your team, then you don’t get to talk about integrity.

In a crisis, if you choose to hide your mistakes instead of allowing your team to learn from them, then you don’t get to talk about feedback loops.

And even without a crisis:

If you choose to put your team in check through metrics but won’t allow them to put the same check on you, then you don’t get to talk about an evidence-based approach.

If you require justifications for the decisions your team make, but don’t provide them to your team with the same rigour for your own decisions, then you don’t get to talk about transparency.

If you provide everything your team needs except the power to make binding decisions, then you don’t get to talk about empowerment.

If you define your team’s strategies and plans without involving any of them throughout the process, then you don’t get to talk about collaboration.

If your only excuse for dumping crap on your team is that you had no choice, then you don’t get to talk about support.

If you allow toxic behaviours to persist in the team, then you don’t get to talk about principles.

If you use “it’s above our pay grade” or “it is what it is” to explain away the deeper, structural challenges, then you don’t get to talk about motivation.

‪Being in a position of leadership doesn’t automatically make you a leader.

Leadership is not only hard work, but also a high bar for being human.

Leadership doesn’t reveal who you want to be.

It merely reveals who you really are.

‬“…taking responsibility for one’s actions must happen at the time you perform your actions, not at the time you get caught.”

Simon Sinek, Leaders Eat Last

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