FAIL #4 – Saying too little
In the first post of this series, I brought up the fail I have had about saying too much. We definitely need to learn when to be quiet.
There is also a time to speak up and say what needs to be said. This is usually a hard, confrontational, or controversial thing. As a leader we must have these conversations. If we don’t, we allow people to continue in destructive behaviors and even to deter the overall vision and direction of the organization or group we lead.
This has nothing to do with controlling people’s behaviors or being the “boss.” This is about standing for what is just and about defending the vision and overall health. Whether it is fear of reprisal, fear of offending someone, or some other fear, we cannot let the fear keep us from saying what we need to say as a leader in a situation. Sometimes the situation works out great and relationships grow and unity is strengthened. Sometimes, things blow up and get ugly. Either way, the leader MUST be the one willing to protect the vision and stand for what is right and just.
Often this requires a tough conversation, at times, it even requires confrontation. If the leader does nothing and lets it go, then the person(s) will continue to push their way and may eventually destroy the organization.
If the vision, the cause, the group is worth the leaders time and energy, then it is worth the leader fighting for it when something is out of whack.
This is a lesson I have learned the hard way. It seems much easier to try and get along. It seems better to not confront people and deal with the issues. In reality, it is playing with fire. The quicker a leader says what needs to be said and deals with it straight on, the less damage is done and greater the move toward heath and growth.