Somehow the leadership space seems to have turned upside down. It happened in slow motion...sort of. Sensitive issues moved to the front page and that made people nervous, the whole vaccine saga continues to play out, and our oddly polarized society seems to think each of us must rally behind either a far right or far left leader.
How about we pause for a moment?
For many years I've taken pride in how I react to the fires that pop up. I run toward them, not away. I want to talk about the spark that started the fire, what dynamics created the circumstances that led to the conditions being right for the fire to start, and I certainly want to have a candid discussion about how to avoid that fire ever starting again.
To me, this is basic leadership.
What seems to have happened though, is that many leaders would prefer to pick sides and place blame. Most either want to avoid uncomfortable conversations or simply pick a group to align themselves with and then go all in.
Isn't one of the most basic leadership principles that we think for ourselves? That we question what is going on and why? Aren't we supposed to talk with our colleagues about why something is happening?
Maybe leaders today have simply gotten soft? It's easier to hide and avoid the heavy lifting required to actually lead. So, instead they just glide over the tough issues, and "expect people to behave professionally."
I submit that many leaders today have lost courage. Their focus is on a CYA approach to managing, not leading, and the results have played out everywhere.
Clearly this doesn't apply to everyone. I know many leaders who take bold steps inside their organizations to raise issues; they challenge cowardly thinking; and push their organizations to do the right thing.
Why isn't that a core competency for leaders in our complicated world?
Please share your perspective with me. Have I become cynical; or, has leadership changed in our hyper-political pandemic-laden society?
I'd love to hear from you.