Perhaps one of the greatest mistakes you can make as a leader is always holding the RIGHT card.
The RIGHT card “says” that since I am the highest positional leader in the situation that I am always RIGHT. But just because I can be RIGHT, does not mean that I am RIGHT.
It is possible to have the authority to be RIGHT, but not have the knowledge to be RIGHT. It is possible to be RIGHT and be wrong at the same time.
In his book “The 5 Levels of Leadership,” John Maxwell says “positional leadership is actually the lowest level of leadership. It is actually the starting point.”
Yet so many people believe that once they become a positional leader, that they have arrived, and have acquired a huge amount of knowledge. Then because of their new found knowledge or position they suddenly become RIGHT all of the time.
Perhaps your greatest concern should never be about being wrong, that is going to happen. Maybe one of your greatest concerns should be making sure that you are not using your positional authority to be RIGHT, in a situation where you might be wrong.
It is possible to have great leaders around you; people with great knowledge, great understanding and can see things that you might miss or see incorrectly. But if you consistently show them you are RIGHT, because you are the person in authority, then these people will eventually quit suggesting ideas, and most of them will move on to other adventures.
You have to understand, this is not a debate of whether or not you have the authority or position to be RIGHT. You may have that, but do you really have enough room to make bad decisions, or get results that are less than what they could have been, because whenever there was a discussion; you had to be RIGHT.
I would suggest that you actually reserve the RIGHT to be WRONG. That as you approach your leadership, you assume and plan that at least every now and then you are going to be wrong about something. Or at the very least, someone is going to have a better way of doing something than you did, a less expensive way, or a way to produce a better product or a better service than we first had in mind.
Most leaders would suggest that we become better when we add great people to our teams. If you are adding great people to your teams; then it is almost certain that there are going to be times, when how they see something is not the way that you see it. The question is do you have the capacity to be wrong or will you play the RIGHT leadership card. Here’s to being wrong!!
Here are some questions; I would love to hear your answers and comments.
- Do you have difficultly realizing and admitting that you are wrong?
- Do you have difficulty admitting that the people below your leadership level sometimes are right and sometimes have a better idea or better of doing something?
- Do you find it difficult to keep that RIGHT card stashed in the drawer?