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Fearless Leading

In a world of blame and judgment, choose compassion and grace.

Be a Fearless Leader.

I have so many thoughts about the leaders in today's world.  Whether you are a leader in business or a leader in the world, it is a tough job.  Essentially, leaders must be willing to be introspective and put relationships before tasks.  Task management is a job for managers; people management is a job for leaders.  Leaders must think about recognizing the people who do the work in terms of being mind, body, and spirit; a whole person, not an object or someone who does a specific task.  In business, both leaders and managers are necessary to keep businesses running smoothly. 

Unfortunately, even with all the training in the world, behavior does not change with training alone.  Coaching is paramount for leaders in business because it is a proven method that helps change behaviors.  If we were to look at this from the perspective of the ADKAR change management tool, training would help create awareness and coaching would help create the desire.  Ultimately, people will not change unless they want to.  It takes a lot more than training to help people move through the change process and to truly change behavior.  Even more, it takes courage and bravery.

My true thoughts are centered around leadership and how difficult it is to manage people.  Specifically, the degree of fearlessness that is necessary to be a good leader.  In a society where, in business, we are taught to treat people as machines rather than a whole person, where there is a belief that humans can be efficient rather than effective, where the human spirit and emotions are largely ignored for the sake of business, going against the grain can be a daunting task.  Choosing compassion over blame and judgment is not an easy feat.  It might be fear that is holding some leaders back from actually adopting a perspective of compassion and grace for the human spirit.  Is that what we are supposed to do?  I say, absolutely.  No matter how you look at it, business is about relationships.  Whether you are serving customers, innovating, or leading, the quality of relationships you build will dictate how successful your business is. 

The old adage, "it's not what you know, it's who you know" stands true in leadership as well.  People are willing to give more grace and compassion toward a leader who they feel honors the whole person as opposed to just managing the tasks.  When compared, two leaders with the same technical skills make a leadership mistake, the leader who shows his/her own grace and compassion toward his/her staff will be granted more compassion and grace than the leader who is only concerned about the "bottom line."  Building and honoring relationships as a leader can be make or break, especially for new leaders. 

It is not easy to be a fearless leader.  It is not easy to dare to be different in business and allowing yourself to admit mistakes, be vulnerable, ask for help, and show compassion and grace for those who work for you.  However, if you cannot find it within you to show compassion instead of blame and judgment, you will find you will struggle more than the leader who dares to be different.  If you want to be a great leader, build relationships, show compassion, and serve your followers fearlessly.