the organization, harm employees, or cheat customers,
no matter how messy, costly, or difficult it is.
Leaders at the front don’t have the freedom to
neglect what their position allows them to see.”
— John C Maxwell
I was thinking about John C Maxwell’s wonderful and insightful book, The 360 Degree Leader, Developing Your Influence From Anywhere In The Organization. The main theme of the book is that you can choose to lead regardless of your position in the organization.
What happens within an organization if you as a leader within it, see something that is a real problem. Maybe something unethical, illegal, down-right stupid, hurting the organization, something happening to cause issues with personnel, or any number of other things like that? Do you ignore it and think that it isn’t your place? Isn’t your job or position to be able to address that? Or, do you do something about it?
What if by doing something about it, you put your position at risk? Do you still do it, or wait for someone else, or find infinite ways to justify that it really isn’t any of your business?
I’ve been in circumstances similar to this and I know of others who have as well. What you would do is going to be completely up to you, and all I know is that for me, I took the risk and brought it to the attention of those who could do something about it. In one case, it seemed pretty obvious that this person was not really interested in what I had to say, so I found myself moving along and it worked out perfectly for me. I did my part. I was the leader I wanted to be and the kind of leader that I could be comfortable with. Being able to sleep at night is a blessing.
Of course, that is the darker side of being a leader and doing what you think is right and good for the whole. On the brighter side, taking the risk of being a leader wherever you find yourself in an organization can only benefit you and those around you. There is no such thing as one leader in an organization. There are a multitude of leaders that make a valuable company work. This is true right down to the person who answers the phone. In fact, I think that this first contact is more important that any communication with the president of the company. Don’t you agree?
Choose To Lead. Take The Risk. It Will Be Worth It.
Spread Some Joy Today–Leading by example is spreading joy.