How to make things better when you're out of op­tions
Jeff & Lindsay Sage / 17 May 2022

You can be the best leader in the world and sometimes, you just can’t make things easier. 

It’s a helpless feeling. 

Your instinct is to give up. But that’s exactly the time to show up.

One of the worst mistakes a leader can make is to fall into the self-deception that they have a better understanding of what the front line is experiencing during adversity than they do. Because you should, right? You have all the data and real time intel. You went to school for it, you have years of experience managing it.

But you don’t. Not really. 

You don’t know what it’s like on the front lines of whatever you’re leading unless you’ve been there. To see it, feel it and experience it viscerally. To literally hear the bullets of competition and complexity whizzing by your head, not just knowing that they’re there. 

And once you actually understand how hard it is, you still might have to tell them what they don’t want to hear. But they’ll know, you know. And that’s the ballgame. 

Colleagues, kids, peers, friends, allies and even your enemies are able to accept really difficult decisions if they understand your intent, and the efforts you went to understand and solve for the issue, clearly. 

So the next time you’re faced with what feels like an impossible situation, show up. Listen. 

Look your team in the eye and spend time closing the gap between perceptions. 

Sometimes it’s all you’ve got. 

And it’s all they need.


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