Author: Des Hague (page 1 of 22)
As we near the end of the year and I look to the new year with optimism my thought of the week is that there is no time limit or ceiling on doing good. Take a moment and look for ways that you can help those around you. Be it a kind word to a stranger, encouragement to a co worker or helping a friend or family member in need can go a long way. Strive to be a force for good. Comport yourself with civility and be kind. I hope you make this one of your personal objectives and 2019 will be a banner year for you and those that you touch.
After the mid term elections, and all the other craziness going around it is important to pause and just take a breath. Just stop right now and take three deep breaths. I hope you felt the tension just leave your body. Now read the following quote by MLK and strive to live by it.
“Hatred paralyses life; love releases it.
Hatred confuses life; love harmonies it.
Hared darkens life; love illuminates it. “ — MLK
Powerful stuff. Hope you bring some love to life and all those you touch.
One of the great things about our country is that every person has the ability to make personal choices that affect how they wants to live. Yes, there our norms enforced by the rule of law, but outside of those we get to determine what is best for ourselves. We should never abdicate or allow our rights to be subjugated.
However, increasingly and alarmingly, there seems to be a growing number of companies that are forcing their leadership beliefs on their workforce.
For example, we have many tech companies who have actually allowed co workers whose political opinions differ from theirs to be vilified, to demand apologizes, censorship or worse. The thought being how dare they have an opposing perspective? Why would we allow any company to mandate one of our principle rights; our right to vote?
Recently, an electronic payment system company also refused to serve groups that their leadership did not support or held opposing beliefs. Could you imagine a traditional bank taking this stance?
Just this week, a large workspace company mandated that meat is off the corporate menu. When did meat become the enemy? Is this really the most important element to encourage? Many would think not.
While many of the examples of corporate influence may have our personal support why do we believe that it is a good thing to have our choices mandated, outside the rule of law, by anyone other than ourselves? I believe that we all have a responsibility to be a force for good but it does not mean that we should be forced to conform to others beliefs.
If a company executive or anyone else for that matter, wants to support a certain political party, not subscribe to a publication that they feel is against their values or ban a food source from their personal menu they should absolutely be free to do just that. It is their personal right.
My thought of the week is that company leaders do not have the right to infringe on anyone else’s personal rights. This is a very slippery slope. Once started where does it end? You may even agree with some of the decisions, but what happens when they mandate things that you vehemently oppose?
As leaders we need to be very careful that we do not unleash the next wave of policing the rights of others. What happened to empowerment? Personal choice should never be mandated or hijacked by any company. Don’t allow others to intimidate, manipulate or tell you how to think.
As leaders, among our many responsibilities, we have is to face down challenges. Then muster the backbone to the carry out the necessary actions that oftentimes are not easy. At the same time we must temper our toughness with kindness. A leader must be multi dimensional and never one sided. To paraphrase Darwin it is not the strongest but the ones who can adapt that survive.
It is important that has we adapt we are fearless has we pioneer new channels, markets and opportunities. However, that does not mean we are ever reckless. Developing a strategy and moving in to unknown territory is not the same has simply charging headlong with no plan or contingency. Bravery with no brains is not desired either.
Therefore, the thought of this week is to make sure that being fearless and being reckless is recognized as more than a mere distinction. Make sure you are fearless but never at the reckless cost of your colleagues or company. Take measures to balance your courage with great caution and patience for gathering intelligence and listening to others. Be firm in your convictions but not blind to possibility of compromise. Read the last paragraph again and measure your own performance? Challenge yourself to become better and be viewed as fearless but never reckless. Think how you can develop those in your team to become fearless and well rounded leaders. The payoff will be huge.
When I look back of my career I thank the many friends who encouraged, pushed and coached me. A little tongue in cheek I thank the not so friendly who tried to derail me, isolate me or offended me. For different reasons all parties have helped me.
However the thought of the week is nothing is given, it is earned. That while others have helped me along my path I myself had to put the hard work in, dedicate endless hours, studied extensively, learned from my mistakes, adapted and had the courage to face my own fears in times of adversity.
A future leaders mindset is that nothing is given it is earned. Go get it.
*Original posting on LinkedIn