A Fine Line   Leave a comment

Walking a Fine Line

Walking a Fine Line (Photo credit: MissTessmacher)

It seems that in life there are a lot of fine lines that we encounter and are required to walk.  As a leader, I find this confronts me on a somewhat regular basis.  I find myself always have to monitor and manage these fine lines.   One of these fine lines is between expressing concerns and standing boldly.  Let me explain by a recent example.

The primary organization in which I am a leader is taking a very bold step regarding the start of a new project.  This project  entails accepting various levels of risks, some of which could have a major impact on the future of the organization.  I, and the other leadership, sense that we are being called to take this step.  We have done a fair amount of research and discussion.  We have faith that this is where we are being led.  However, there are some areas of uncertainty that we will probably never fully understand until we wade through them and do some significant learning along the way.

As a leader, I know that there are times that it is important for the success of a project for me to demonstrate confidence in the project.  I know that I, and other leaders, are being watched by members of the organization.  I have some responsibility to instill confidence in the members of the organization that the direction we are going is the right one for  us at this time and place.  However, I think that any leader who is part of taking some very bold steps who does not have some concerns is a leader that is being blind at some level.  So while I do have confidence in this project, while I am truly convinced that we are being led this direction, I have some levels of concern.  I hope this is what keeps me on my edge and helps ensure that the steps taken and risks taken are not without diligent thought and reflection.

The fine line comes when I have to choose how and when to express those concerns.  If I am not careful about that, I can unintentionally undermine the success of the project.  There is value for me to acknowledge that I share some of the concerns voiced by others.  There is also value in me communicating confidence that in spite of these concerns I believe we are making the right decisions.  I have to help keep the energy and enthusiasm for the new project solid and not create additional doubts in the minds of the people and fellow leaders.

It is a fine line that I walk as a leader…. instill confidence but communicate concerns.


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