Watching the movie “Unstoppable” (about a runaway train), I was caught up in the tension between the veteran engineer (Denzel Washington) and the Corporate Manager (Kevin Dunn). Although Kevin Dunn was the proper authority and person responsible for making decisions, Denzel decided to ignore him and trust his own experience and ability to avert disaster. He (and Chris Pine) were ultimately revealed as the heros.
While that made for a good plot in the movie…what about real life? When the pressure is on…and the outcome of your project hangs in the balance, how do you lead? Do you ignore your leader and push ahead? Do you wait for permission? How do you succeed when conflicts rise and tensions mount?
To earn your leadership stripes, you will need these 3 characteristics:
- Be Right – You must know what needs to be done
- Be Ruthless – You must have the courage to do it
- Be Respectful – You must protect relationships while doing it
Many people have two out of three….which leads to failure.
- They may be Right and Ruthless, but not Respectful. They get the job done, but only by harming relationships.
- They may be Right and Respectful, but not Ruthless. They fail to initiate action when it is most needed.
- They may be Ruthless and Respectful, but not Right. They do not have the skills, experience, and wisdom to know what to do.
Can you deliver all 3 of these? Which one are you most likely to take shortcuts on?
Thanks for listening.