Dec 17 2013

We’ve probably all worked for a tyrant at one point or another, the one who likes confrontation, in fact thrives on the fear it instills in the rest of us who don’t. We probably looked forward to another time, when we worked for the lamb, the one we could just about walk all over. What we should really want, and the leader we should want to be, is the one in the middle. The guy or gal with the guts or intestinal fortitude to stand up and confront people when they were doing wrong.

There are many cases of the former so I won’t go into those, but how many of us think about the people who should have spoken up, should have started a confrontation & resolved an issue before it blew up. How many of us have stood silent when we knew we should have stood up for someone else, for the right thing, or for ourselves.

Many of us our not necessarily afraid of conflict or confrontation, but most of us would prefer to avoid it if possible. The problem is that what we stand by and allow today, becomes the norm tomorrow. If we don’t speak out & stand up for what is right, then we are telling those around us that we won’t; that they can do whatever they like & we will do nothing about it.

There was an article on LinkedIn the other day that hit home for me. As a former US Marine I remember some of the training we received on this subject, yes we would get in trouble if we allowed the person next to us to fall asleep in classes; it happened! Learning to speak up when things seemed small, made it easier to do when things were bigger, more important.

Nobody really wants to be a tyrant, but nobody really wants to be  lamb either. As a leader we need to be willing to stand up & confront wrong. Whether that comes from our front line, our peers or our leaders! The more you do it, the easier it will be, like anything else. Being willing to challenge others, in a tactful way, is required to be a leader.

How comfortable are you with confrontation? Are you willing to stand up for what is right? Or are you a lamb? Lacking intestinal fortitude?

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