“He who would accomplish little must sacrifice little; he who would achieve much must sacrifice much; he who would attain highly must sacrifice greatly”
It’s been over 10 years since that cold Thursday January 15, 2009 when flight 1549 from US airways took off from La Guardia International airport and lost power on both engines. What made the difference between life and death during this accident was the captain Chesley Sullenberger, he was able to maneuver the plane to the Hudson river and crashed landed there, the most impressive part he remained calmed during the entire incident and would not leave the plane until everyone of his passengers and crew had been rescued.
While this is an impressive demonstration of leadership and coolness under fire, not all leadership situations are about being heroic. Sometimes being a leader is about making difficult situations. What if your company is downsizing and you have to let go one employee from your team? All members of your team are hardworking and invested in the success of the team, they all need the job, how do you choose?
What if you have to choose between two competitive contracts and making the wrong decision could be demised of your organization?
Bottom line is that sometimes being a leader will place you in difficult positions and true leaders will have to make tough decisions at one time or another. Here are some suggestions on how to cope with difficult decisions or situations:
Is important to remember that first rule of leadership is: you either lead by example or you don’t lead at all, before taking a difficult decision is important to think how that decision will affect the stakeholders, the people you lead, the organization, the customers, the community, etc. a good leader will place himself/herself on the shoes of those directly affected by a tough decision and find a way to minimized the impact of a difficult decision.
Transparency, a good leader is always transparent even when faced with bad news. Anyone can share good news with their followers, but a good leader have to be transparent, so when he has to share bad news or decisions that negative impact on those they lead, they can understand why the decision was taken, even if they don’t approve or agree with it, they are more likely to accept it when a transparent leader shares the bad news.
Learn to say no, a tough leader knows when to say no. sometimes the people they lead might not want to hear that word no, but a good leader have earned the trust of those who follow them and knows when to say no, even if it will not be a welcome word.
Don’t be afraid, a good leader is not afraid to make tough decisions, the key here is not to take decisions lightly, but once a leader has arrived at a decision is not afraid to do it.
Admit when is wrong, a good leader is not afraid to admit when he/she is wrong. Bottom line we all make mistakes and when faced with difficult situations we can also make mistakes; a good leader is humble enough to admit he/she is wrong to those who follow him.
So next time you are faced with a difficult situation or have to make a tough decision remember that is part of being a good leader, so don’t be afraid to make tough decisions.