So you're back in the office, ready for another action-packed week. Lots of changes happening all around you, people issues to deal with and lots of interventions all lie ahead. You'll be asked to step up repeatedly this week to deal with inappropriate behavior, and to set a good example for those around you. At the end of the day you'll head out of the office...and then what?
It Takes Courage
We know what courage means in most contexts: military courage, leadership on-the-job courage, even Wizard of Oz courage. But what about the courage leaders must demonstrate when they're away from the job, or the action, or the movies? What about the courage necessary when the only person who'll know whether it was shown or not is you? That's real courage. The kind I wish I had started showing earlier in life.
"Friends" v. Values = Test of Courage
Many years ago I had some friends who were raised in families that were insensitive to minorities. In fact, they occasionally made racist comments. They tried to be good people generally, but the influence of their upbringing spilled over into the language they used in their adult lives. And I struggled hearing it. I struggled knowing that what they were saying bothered me, but I was trying to preserve my friendship with them, so I simply remained silent.
Until I couldn't take it anymore. So on two separate visits with these friends I made the decision to confront them if they used the offensive language. Those were the last two times we were together. I'm not anything special because I held them accountable for the words they used, but I did realize that I could no longer be a 9 -5 leader. I was on a different path; one that required me to step out of my comfort zone and do what is right.
It's hard for me to do this on a regular basis, but I have no other choice. I have no excuse to defer my leadership privilege.
Clean Hands Do Not Equal A Clean Conscience
Are you a leader that washes your hands of the job once you leave for the day? Are you able to distance yourself so that the "real you" can come out once you leave the facade of your professional life? Or, have you accepted your true path; your leadership path, that doesn't know how to tell time, or recognize if you've moved from one location to the next.
I'd love to hear from you.
pics courtesy of Gone Movies and Ordinary Pastor