It takes courage to be candid when saying what you think might jeopardize a relationship, cost you a job, or lose you an important client.
Perhaps it’s not always necessary to speak up, and for sure your decision depends on your culture and your personality. But when your values are stepped on, or when you have the knowledge that could help avoid a bad decision, the moment has come for you to step up as a leader.
We need much more candid relationships, and for that to happen, work places need to be actively made more psychologically safe, by inviting dissent and by inviting everyone to speak up with a question or a point-of-view, independent of their formal position.
But what can you do as a lone leader?
You can always ask the question: Have you considered X …?
You don’t have to be in someone‘s face to challenge their thinking.
You can bring in your perspective without attacking anyone.
You can be an ally to colleagues who belong to any kind of under-represented (and perhaps under-valued) group.
Speaking up, even with a question, sometimes takes courage. And I nod my head to everyone who does it anyway, especially if they are afraid to lose something in the process.
This is true leadership; everyday, inspiring leadership.
Everyone is a leader. Leadership is a choice.
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