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Getting On Board

By Glenn Kaufman on Dec. 12, 2011 in Leadership Bites


One of Gary’s recent posts, Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda discussed a leaders obligation to stop those around her/him from making a strategic mistake. But at some point, a CEO may say “Gary, despite your reservations, making investments in random Internet properties in a search for the silver bullet is the way we are headed; now line up.” 

What should the senior, but not senior-most leader, do in this situation?

When we join an organization in a leadership role, it doesn’t mean that we get to call the shots.  We’re obligated to give our opinions and make a case for our ideas.  However, we primarily signed up to progress the organization’s agenda, even if we think it’s not what “we” would or should do.

If we can’t live with the direction that things are taking, or it conflicts with some deeply held value or belief, then maybe we’re in the wrong organization.  Otherwise we have to line up and “take the hill” even if we would have rather taken a different one.  At that point, we should lead as if it had been our own idea. 


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