This week I read an article that reminded me of a Dave Ramsey quote. “To be unclear is to be unkind. Be a truth teller.” Ooh. The sentiment behind that statement strikes me as right on the money, but walking it out challenges me greatly.
My desire is to be a leader. Not just any kind of leader but a really good leader. A great leader as a matter of fact. Recently, I have been challenged in this pursuit. I find myself in situations where I am uncomfortable. In the back of my mind I think, “This is leading. This is what you have been asking for.” It is humbling to say the least! I recognize how far I have to go to become the person I want to be.
To become a great leader requires clear communication of difficult truths at times. I struggle with this because I like to please people. I avoid saying things that might cause someone not to like me. I know this is silly and unrealistic, but it plagues me nonetheless. Improvement in this area of my life is a necessity.
How can I take steps to Improve as a leader? This is a question I think about regularly. The following four truths help me to maintain a positive trajectory towards my goal.
- As a leader I serve the people who are in my care. This requires that I make decisions and act in ways that are best for them. Encompassed within the “best” for these individuals is telling them the truth. I can relate this to my own life. If I am not performing a task up to the standard required, I want to know about it. In short, this idea can be summed up in the golden rule – treat others the way you want to be treated.
- Growing as a leader means I am constantly learning how to do my job better. Because situations within a leader’s purview are regularly changing, I must be willing to engage in training, reading, and skill development to raise my performance to the next level. If I expect others within my sphere of influence to take action to improve, I must be willing to do the same.
- The easy way out of a difficult relational situation is to dismiss the other individual. This could take many forms. Dismissing people could mean firing them. It could also mean dismissing their ideas as not worthy of consideration. Another option for dismissal is to reject people individually and refuse to spend time with them. Regardless of the form, dismissing another individual is the easy way to terminate a relationship. It is much more of a challenge to invest in others and attempt to help them grow.
- Subtlety is not nice, it’s passive-aggressive. If I am trying to get someone to “take the hints” I am dropping in conversation, I am being unclear. And being unclear is actually unkind, as Dave Ramsey said. Communication should be direct, firm, kind, and calm. By not doing so, I risk putting a strain on the relationship. I know that I struggle with the thought that being direct and firm is mean. No! Being truthful does not have to be done in a hurtful way. Telling the truth in love may be tough, but it is often necessary and beneficial.
With my limited understanding of these four truths, I acknowledge that I have merely scratched the surface on what it takes to become a great leader. I strive every day to improve my skills and abilities to help other people along the way. I hope that you will join me on this journey.
Question: What are some other truths of becoming a great leader that you can share? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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