Did I do the right thing?
As a leader, how do you really know when you’ve done the right thing?
There are so many variables to decisions you make, not limited to but including the impact on the organization, how it affects the individual, and the toll it takes on you as the leader.
The variables go on and on. If your goal is to be 100% correct on every decision you make then, please do not ever take a leadership position because you will be very disappointed, maybe even on your first day.
Onlookers can be cruel. It is said that hindsight is 20/20, and that is certainly the case when you are a leader making any decisions from the paint color in an office to restructuring an organization.
THE MAN IN THE MIRROR
I can’t tell you how many decisions I made in my life, both personally and professionally, and the mistakes that came with those decisions are probably in the thousands when you combine both areas. However, I’ve lived by one code that I heard very early on that I try to remember. It comes from the poem by Dale Wimbrow called The Man in the Mirror.
The poem talks about the true end of the day evaluation of how you see yourself and your decisions needs to be driven by how you feel about that person that you see in the mirror. One of the most powerful stanzas in the poem speaks to:
If you can’t look that person in the eye you see in the mirror, then whatever you’re doing needs to change.
So if you pick up the leadership gauntlet in any capacity you are in, whether it’s sports, family or your occupation, the most reliable measuring stick is:
- To look in the mirror and reflect on, would that person make this decision?
If you two are on the same page, then you go with it. If you’re not, then you need to rethink it and wonder why you can’t look that person in the eye.
Don’t get me wrong that doesn’t mean there won’t be some days and some decisions that when you go back to look at that person in the mirror, your reflection looks back and says “just how in the heck did you think that was a good idea?” You will reflect on those questions and say you will fix it and promise that person looking back at you that you will follow through because trust me, that reflection will know!
GREAT LEADERS ARE NOT PERFECT
Not only do leaders know, and realize when they’ve made a mistake, and they need to fix it; they are not afraid to make mistakes. No ego involved, just get it right. History has shown that out of trial and error comes many successes ask Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell. The vaccine for the current pandemic will not come from a “first try” attempt but from many trials.
If you follow the plan to be true to yourself, you won’t have to worry about the person in the mirror. They will smile back at you every morning because they know you’re trying and being who God created you to be.