So what might it mean for leaders to consider where they are standing...and what is the impact that standing might have? Here are a few thoughts for this Friday morning:
- physically, leaders need to consider where to stand when they address their constituencies - are you directly in the middle, do you stand to one side or the other, or do you consistently move around?
- values-wise, leaders need to be able to know and articulate where they stand. What is most important to them and does everyone know and understand the implications of what the leader holds as important? And what happens when individuals violate the leader's most dearly held values? (and perhaps even more important, what happens when the leader violates his or her own most dearly held values?)
- strategically, leaders must stand firm when competing ideas or needs want to deter the organization from moving in the agreed upon direction. Even the very best ideas pushed for by the very best people need to checked against the current strategic direction (and, if a change in direction is warranted, the leader needs to be able to explain why they are choosing not to stand firm at that time)
- personnel-wise, the leader should have the ability to stand in the another person's shoes and work hard to understand their viewpoint, especially when there is conflict or unmet expectations. Hearing and understanding what the other person is saying or doing can lead to a better outcome for everyone involved
- budgetarily, leaders have to stand firm and not let their organization make decisions which can harm them in the long run. Investing in the organization's core capabilities and choosing not to invest in activities that are not required (and insisting on holding the line in terms of agreed upon margin) are all part of the leader's stance in terms of financial health
Thinking about where you stand can serve to strengthen one's leadership capacity. Where the leader stands will help to define what the leader is standing for...and in turn help others know how to stand as they move the organization forward in its mission and vision.