Last September we had a pretty significant accident in our home. Our two year old son had his right pinky finger in the hinge of a door when our four year old daughter decided the door needed to be closed.
Let’s be frank: being wrong is hard. I’ve never met a leader (or person, for that matter) who doesn’t struggle, at least a little bit, with being wrong. Being wrong attacks our egos. Being wrong feeds our insecurities. For those who believe that their value as a person is 100% tied to their ability to achieve, being wrong is a catastrophic event.
While the drama of big risks creates interesting story lines, it actually represents a very small percentage of the risks leaders must take in order to lead well. The most important and frequent risk leaders at every organizational level must take in order to realize their potential is more personal than dramatic or strategic.
As I help individuals and organizations increase their leadership effectiveness, I occasionally encounter sales department leaders who are looking for keynote speakers. When I ask them about the messages they are trying to get across to their sales teams, I’m not surprised when they use the word ‘leadership’ to tell me that they want their people to sell more product.