Taking a stand is a key responsibility of leaders. It means making big decisions, setting clear priorities, giving definitive direction -- and sticking to it -- even when it's not popular. When you avoid taking a stand, your people get confused and are left wondering what matters, what to do, and why.
Leaders who are highly collaborative in nature may shy away from taking a stand, fearing it may seem dictatorial, make them unpopular, or lead the organization down the wrong path. Leaders who take charge in the extreme may neglect to consider how their people are affected when they take a stand.
The answer is to effectively take a stand and maintain connections with your people and yourself. Doing both is the Amare Way, and is actually a more loving approach to leadership. You commit to what matters most and you do what is needed as a leader, while being open and transparent in ways that support healthy relationships.
Reflect on these questions:
What does the idea of taking a stand bring up for you?
If you were going to take a stand on one thing and make it a non-negotiable, what would that one thing be?
When you do take a stand, how might you express it in a way that increases trust and respect?
5 Amare Ways to Take a Stand and Stay Connected
Look inward. When deciding whether to take a stand, first calm yourself and then check in to make sure that it's aligned with what you truly believe is best for the organization, and that it feels authentic to you.
Choose the stories you invent. Let yourself imagine how people will react when you take a particular stand, including your worst fears. Then gain some altitude and call those imaginings what they are -- your stories. Now imagine more positive outcomes.
Allow for unhappiness. Remind yourself regularly that not everyone will be happy with every decision you make or every stand you take. And that's okay.
Have the hard conversations. When you do take an unpopular or controversial stand, acknowledge that you know some people may not like it. And that it is what the organization will be doing. Be sure to convey that you considered other options, and why the stand you are taking is important.
Remember why. Be explicit about how the stand you're taking supports the organization's vision. Help people stay connected with the shared higher purpose, whether or not they agree with the particular stand you're taking.
The good news is you can learn how to take a firm stand and stay deeply connected with your people, and yourself. Doing so is a great way to earn respect, and a powerful demonstration of love in action.