Popularity, to some extent, is often what brings people into positions of leadership. Whether it is to the position of CEO, president of a country, student government, the garden club, or the Regional Manager of Dunder Mifflin, popularity plays some role in people being placed in positions of leadership. You advance at work by being popular with your bosses, in politics by having more votes than anyone else, and at school by having the most friends. You even gain “leadership of a family” by being popular with your girlfriend to the point of her agreeing to marriage. Then it comes time to lead and the followers (employees or voters or teammates or. . .) want their absolute way in everything. I’m no different in times of being subordinate to people.
Leading based primarily upon popularity will eventually end in the failure of the leader. Leadership is anything but a popularity contest. Leadership 101 is that “you can’t please everyone, every time.” It is my experience that in leadership, though, this doesn’t go nearly far enough. In reality, with very few exceptions, it should be “you WILL disappoint someone every time.” Just as there are multiple sides to every story, there are also going to be multiple opinions of every leadership decision. True leadership is making what you are confident is the right call and moving forward to execute this decision. Nothing more, nothing less.
24 Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice. 25 Now therefore, please pardon my sin and return with [Read more…]