Insights for Leaders

Leading Into Danger

Posted on: August 17th, 2009 | 0 Comments

‚ÄúToday is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So…get on your way!” — Dr. Seuss

Harvard leadership guru John Kotter writes, “Great leadership does not mean running away from reality. Sometimes the hard truths might just demoralize the company, but at other times sharing difficulties can inspire people to take action that will make the situation better.”

Sir Ernest Shackelton ran an advertisement in “The London Times” in 1907 looking for people to accompany him on an expedition to the South Pole which read, “WANTED: People to undertake hazardous journey; small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful, honor and recognition in case of success.” No one expected that Shackelton would get takers, but he was swamped with replies.

The Bottom Line: Leaders know how to filter challenges, at times sheltering people from those truths but at other times using the cold hard facts to inspire commitment.