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Leadership Thought #415 – Know When To Stand Your Ground

There is alot of talk about compromise in the media lately especially as it pertains to our federal government.  There is this general sense that if political leaders would just be reasonable then there is an easy pathway to finding common ground.  While I am certainly a fan of win-win negotiations, I don’t always believe that compromise is the best course of action.  Sometimes you have to stand on principle and do what you believe is right instead of what may be politically expedient.  Courage can be a lonely place at times, but going against your core values/beliefs usually has much worse consequences.  Some things should be non-negotiable.

The problem many of experience is that we anchor ourselves to too many things.  If everything is important than nothing truly is.  We need to be more thoughtful and selective about the battles we choose to fight.  It’s not just about winning.  It’s also about how you win and what your motivations were for winning in the first place.   Sometimes you do need to yield the field for the greater good and/or because the issue truly isn’t that important to you.  Otherwise you are just engaging in political gamesmanship which may feed your ego but is an absolute waste of time.  When you do hold your ground, make sure your resolve is firmly cemented in a position that is worth defending.

Most of the leaders we experience in our lives have clay feet.  It’s not that difficult to smash the foundation of their positions and let them crumble into rubble of their own making.  It is why when we actually meet someone of solid character and consistent values we hold them in such high regard (even when we don’t always agree with them).  Life may be experienced situationally but is ultimately evaluated in the aggregate and based on the related behavioral patterns that emerge.

What type of person are you?  Where do you get in your own way?  What are your core values?  What is the root of these beliefs?  Are your intentions honorable under any fair level of scrutiny?  What are your real non-negotiables (less is more)?  What is your true responsibility to the position you hold and those you?  When all is said and done, what is the positive legacy you want to leave behind?  Answer these questions honestly and you will know when to stand your ground and when to compromise for the greater good…

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