Leadership is a highly sought-after behavior for employers and institutions. The world always needs good leaders to guide the way and make sure that movements can have the effect that they want them to. But what exactly does leadership entail? Is leadership just being able to get along with everyone, or does it require making hard decisions sometimes? Below, Adam Ferrari explains why good leaders must always take sides, even when there is the risk of receiving backlash.
There Will Always Be Conflict
One thing that leaders will always have to manage is conflict. No matter the organization, there will be some friction, and at some point, it’s up to leaders to make the call and work things out. As a theoretically neutral party, leaders might feel like they are not meant to take sides in issues and instead are supposed to be an external observer outside of the dynamics of interpersonal conflict.
The problem is, you can’t avoid taking sides on some issues. When the issue is personal, it might be best for the leader to tell the team to handle the matter elsewhere. But when conflict arises over who should manage a project or where responsibility for some task lies, leaders have to take sides to get things done. The inability to make a firm decision and come down on some side can keep projects or tasks from being completed.
Think Logically, not Emotionally
A good leader can put their emotions to the side when trying to mediate a conflict between two people. Emotions can cloud your thinking and prevent you from observing just the facts of the case. Emotional thinking can also affect your judgment, so you do not render an impartial decision. Take some time to think over decisions so any emotions can subside. That way, you can make a more objective judgment.
Solving Problems Requires Activity
A passive reaction will only make conflict and problems get worse. Failing to take a side is being too passive and can result in the issue boiling over into something even more serious. Picking a side and following through is how you solve problems efficiently. Partial acceptance and passive interaction do nothing to help anyone and can make the situation worse. A good leader knows when they have to make hard decisions and set a precedent so others can follow through too.
It’s the Right Thing to Do
Sometimes, being a leader means taking a stand on some issues. Falling determinately on one side represents a kind of strength of character that anyone can respect, even those that might disagree with you. Sticking to your guns and taking a firm stance on some issues can help build respect with other people.