I was reading a blog this morning on making mistakes, written by the Leadership Freak, Dan Rockwell (So You Screwed Up …). The whole post was great as usual, but one point stuck out at me very clearly. Not only did it make perfect sense, but it is also a point within my own leadership that I struggle with.
By the way, if you don’t follow Leadership Freak, I highly recommend you do so. He is a great read and a top blogger. He is looked up to by many, including myself. (Leadershipfreak.wordpress.com)
As I mentioned, I was reading his blog and his first reason for making a mistake slapped me like a cold fish: 1.) [Trying to] please others while ignoring your gut.
Ouch! For a self-professed people pleaser, this is a very pointed bullet item and it was pointed right at me. It is no mystery why he has that item at they top of his list. Of course, it cause my wheels to turn faster trying to find out why I had such an issue with the statement. I can tell you I didn’t have to think very long, I already knew the answer.
People pleasers do not make good leaders!
There, I said it! Now, let me explain what I mean. Mr. Rockwell’s first point is right on the money. As leaders, we have responsibilities to do what is right, not only for our companies, but for our teams as well as ourselves. Our educated gut feelings can provide us with amazing discoveries and decisions. Ignoring that “gut feeling” can mean we miss out on a good decision that can keep a project on track or even turn it around.
So, can you be a people pleaser and an effective leader? Yes, but it will probably take some work. You need to analyze each decision to make sure it is being made for the right reason. Keep in mind, you don’t have to make a decision that goes against your people pleasing tendencies with a tone of harshness. You can, and should, communicate that decision with a servant leader’s heart and be sensitive to those that are affected by the decision.
Are you a “people pleaser”? How do you get past that to make better decisions?
Do you agree or disagree with me?