Weak Leaders – Part Three

I think it’s safe to say that most, likely all, successful people accept full responsibility for their actions and decisions. So then do Strong Authentic Leaders. 

Weak leaders tend to play the blame game. They look for someone else to dump responsibility on when things go wrong. Or they make excuses. My favorite is the combo responsibility dump/excuse of miscommunication. The leader communicated well, the person on the receiving end wasn’t bright enough to understand. 

That “combo” covers both bases. The leader has no responsibility for the mistake and the blame is firmly shifted away from the leader, except it really isn’t. 

Just a side note here…Authentic Leaders accept 100% responsibility for all communication. They know it is their responsibility to make certain the other person completely understood what was said. 

Not accepting responsibility for your actions and decisions leads to an entire set of consequences, whether you’re a leader or not. 

The first, and I think the most serious, is an exaggerated sense of self. If you believe your excuses it makes it difficult to build relationships with others. You are seen as less trustworthy. You likely become more critical of other people. Your feelings of infallibility increases your expectations of others. You become unrealistic, intolerant, and demanding. 

Your attitude becomes a repellent to other people making it nearly impossible to lead. You may not realize it at first and weak leaders may never realize it, but you’re not fun to be around. All because you can’t, or won’t, accept responsibility for your actions and decisions. 

The most common reason for not accepting responsibility is a sense of insecurity. People, especially weak leaders think admitting to a mistake or a poor decision makes them look weak. In reality, having the courage to admit mistakes gives the appearance of strength to a leader’s followers. 

Strong Authentic Leaders see accepting responsibility as a measure of their self-worth. Their strength and self-confidence allows them to do something weak leaders can’t do…learn from their mistakes. 

Ask yourself when was the last time you may have fallen short as a leader by placing blame for your actions on someone else. Ask yourself why you did that. Be honest with yourself. That’s the first step in growing your self-confidence to a level where you’re comfortable owning your actions and decisions. 

If you struggle with accepting responsibility then start paying attention to a leader you respect. You’ll likely see them do it on a regular basis. If you want to move from the weak side of leadership to the strong side do what they do. 

You may not see a difference in yourself right away but you’ll see a difference in how people respond to you. They may even start acting as if you’re a leader! 

Cry or Try, The Choice is Yours

This is a bit of a challenging post to write. It will also perhaps be a challenging post for some people to read. It is a challenge in both directions because without seeing my facial expressions and hearing my tone of voice some people will think this post is uncaring.

My intent however is the absolute opposite of uncaring.

I’m writing this specifically for people who feel like crying during difficult circumstances. Notice I didn’t say I am writing this TO you, I am writing this FOR you. This is a message you need to hear.

In every difficult circumstance there are two kinds of people. Those who cry over their circumstances and those who try to improve them. Even people who cry about their circumstances know that the people who try to improve their circumstances have a much better chance to succeed.

But they don’t believe they can do anything about their own circumstances. The crying group wears the mantle of victimhood like a $5000 suit or a custom made ball gown. It is a very comfortable fit.

Even with a life full of far more comfortable options they have convinced themselves that they have nothing else to wear.

The trying group on the other hand will wear anything. They don’t care if their plaid pants don’t go with their striped shirt. They will try anything. They know that no matter how poorly their attempt might turn out the only way they can truly fail is to not continue trying.

The trying group believes in themselves. They trust themselves. They know they have what it takes to succeed.

That belief and trust in themselves is all that is separating them from the crying group. The trying group does not have vastly greater skills than the crying group, they just make a choice to use whatever they have.

Trying is hard work. Crying is just hard. Trying gets you somewhere. Crying traps you right where you are. Trying creates hope. Crying creates more crying.

The good news is that the price for moving from the crying group into the trying group is low.

All you need to do is to make a choice. A choice that says I’d rather try and fail 1000 times than to sit here and cry with no chance to improve my situation.

A choice that says I may or may not have what it takes to succeed but I’m going to use everything I do have and see where it leads.

My mom used to tell me to not cry over spilt milk. Yet I spilt my milk all the time and would invariably cry over it. Until I decided that crying wasn’t going to solve my spilling problem. I decided on the solution right then and there…. I haven’t had a glass of milk since.

In any circumstance you can choose an attitude of “Woe is me” or you can chose an attitude of “Wow is me.” Which one you choose sets your life on either a path of success or a path with puddles of spilt milk.

Choose wisely.