This morning I listened to Michael Hyatt’s podcast episode on the nature of leadership. Much of it is character driven (ala Stephen Covey) and, even as I try my hardest to avoid confirmation bias, I find so much strength and encouragement to carry on in my own ways, which sometimes feel naive and pollyanna-ish, because of the words he has said.
An example of how I might be naive is that I believe and act as if conflict in the workplace cannot exist without blame. To me, blame is as oxygen to the fire of conflict. This requires that I put aside the matter of “justice” while resolving disputes and instead to side-step my own desire to blame. Instead I choose to lean in, try to understand, and to pursue collaboration toward a resolution. Things get fixed faster and, I believe, people feel free to improve themselves when they are not in reaction against the perceived judgment from others. It doesn’t mean that I don’t value justice. But it does mean that I choose to exercise a bit of faith that management/reality/whatever will act justly in the long term, a principle I think I picked up from Robert Stephen Kaplan.
Hyatt’s podcast is so very much about the individual nature of leadership characteristics. Even as you try to influence others, the seeds of it are in your choices and what you choose to give prime status in your view of things and where you put your efforts. I am almost moved to tears when I think about how beautiful a world of people trying to live these ideas would be. We could do so much together.
(Personal note: I honestly didn’t think of myself as any kind of leader until my manager at Juniper Networks, Kim Order, the only manager-mentor-hybrid I’ve ever had, tried to convince me of it. This episode makes me think of her and how much appreciation I have for my time working for her. I’m glad she saw this in me and I like trying to live up to it.)