One of the priorities of a leader is mastering the skill of communication and relationship management between people within an organization. It is the duty of a leader to coordinate people of different characters and exposures in order to jointly achieve common objectives. In his attempt to accomplish his leadership purpose, a leader is warned never to make the blunder of trying to please everyone under his leadership; that is a sure recipe for failure. Understand that it is not everybody that will accept your leadership style, no matter how good you are. So, get ready to step on toes.
Leadership isn’t about making everyone happy. It is about making everyone enjoy an enabling environment to perform their job responsibilities in line with the goals and core values of the organization. No leader can successfully accomplish this task without being armed with two vital leadership instruments: Courage and diplomacy. It takes these instruments, among others, to instill and enforce organizational philosophy and ethics. While your integrity grants you respect, it takes courage to stand out and speak up the salient truth in the face of glaring resistance staring you in the face.
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Thomas Paine once boldly confessed: “I love the man who can smile in trouble; who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles to death.” It takes courage to declare absolute reality where others are scared to dare. As a leader, I have always told my people that, if you’ve never offended anyone, then you’ve never stood, against all odds, for anything worth standing for! Diplomacy is the instrument that smart leaders employ in making followers to accept their visions or ideas, without any form of offence, whether from friends or foes.
However, being in leadership position is not a licence for abuse of privileges. You must first display impeccable values and virtues of a leader, including humility, honesty, and diligence, among others, before you can exercise authority over your followers. Otherwise you are risking confrontation and conflict against your leadership and administration. Certainly there will be room for reconciliation and collaboration for mutual and organizational benefit, yet, you cannot rule out instances when someone may vehemently refuse to see reasons in going along with you. He’s simply opposed to your leadership decisions. As a leader, you will step on toes.
A man once said emphatically, “If you want to please everyone, go and be selling ice cream” There is no great leader in history that dared pleasing everybody. Not even Jesus, the greatest leader of all times. Just ensure you do not fail the test of morality, godliness, and legality in your leadership duties. Do the very best in your ability in discharging your leadership responsibilities. Some people will love you. Some will doubt your ability. Some will oppose you, and some will simply hate you. There are things that you cannot avoid. Lastly, remember, you will step on toes in discharging your leadership obligations. You can’t avoid it!
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