FAIL #2 – PASSIVE
Leadership is about making decisions and taking action. Not all of those decisions are easy or popular. It is very easy to get caught in the trap of wanting to be liked and making people happy. This can cause the leader to not confront things that need to be confronted or not make the needed decision. The lie sets in that the situation will “work itself out.” It won’t. It will only grow and escalate to the point where the fall out of a passive stance is worse than the feared reaction to the original decision or action that was needed.
A passive leader is not really a leader. They are looking for the path of least resistance while seeking popularity. Nothing great has ever been accomplished through a passive stance.
I have had times when faced with a tough decision or a tough conversation and it seems so much easier to sit back and let the situation play out and hope that someone else steps up and makes your responsibility easier. There was an instance where a person was out of line and needed to be confronted. Instead of dealing with it directly, I chose the passive stance and hoped for the best. It ended ugly and the fallout was a much bigger than it would have been if I had just taken action at the start. Yes, it would have been uncomfortable and unpleasant, but it would have been over sooner and with less collateral damage.
As leaders, we must be people of action. We must take the initiative and do the right thing, even when it is the very hard thing to do.
Have you seen times when a tough decision with action early would have saved bigger issues later?