Do The Right Thing

Somebody asked me the other day what the most important leadership lesson is. I answered without hesitation “Do the Right Thing.” They looked at me like I was a simpleton but I went on to explain.

People are looking for someone to follow. If they don’t feel your intentions are right they will resist following. If you are doing the right thing people will not always agree with you but they will eventually fall in line.

So why is so difficult to do the right thing? It’s simple really your decision is motivated by pleasing something or someone. If you base your decision on what would be popular, politically beneficial, or easy you are going to find yourself doing the wrong thing. Too many decisions are based on making a people happy instead of what is best for them.

How do you make the right decision? First it starts with prayer. I know this sounds trite but it is often passed over. You need to pray not only for wisdom but for the strength to go through with it because the right thing is rarely easy or popular.

Second you need to prepare. Do make a decision hastily. Do your homework, consider contingency plans, and talk it through with some trusted people. You don’t necessarily need buy it but an objective opinion will help you see any holes in your decision.

Finally you need to execute. Once you make the decision you better stick by it. Nothing is worse than when a leader makes a decision and at the first sign of resistance capitulates. Stand firm and make adjustments along the way but don’t back down. Remember people are looking for someone to follow and if it seems like the leader is more interested in following the whims of the crowd then they will realize he really isn’t leading but instead trying to be liked.

Doing the right thing isn’t easy but we know more often than not the right thing to do. Do it and you will realize how freeing it really is.

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