Leading is dangerous. Inherently risky. When we lead we are advocating for what we think is right, rather than doing the right thing. We are playing to win, rather than playing not to lose.
I think it would be great idea if at the end of every working day, as we closed our computers and reached for our car keys, we reflecting for a moment, “Did I get it right today regarding the tension between playing to win and playing not to lose.
As human beings we are all driven by two conflicting motives. 1) personal safety and 2) living with purpose. They both drive us and will always drive us. The question is whether they own us, or do we own them. Can we decide or choose which one should get more air time in a particular situation, or when under stress are we unconsciously tethered to personal safety, which usually means towing the line, keeping our heads down, not challenging assumptions OR the opposite, and being inappropriate in our public outbursts of emotion.
When this happens we cannot lead. In order to lead effectively we have to be able to manage our stress so that we can think of creative and innovative responses to specific challenging situations. Good leadership is taking appropriate risks (living with purpose, playing to win, telling the truth) while staying safe (not becoming totally alienated or getting ourselves fired.)
How are you doing in this regard? Got the balance right?