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Leadership Thought #415 – Know When To Stand Your Ground

December 4, 2012

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Sometimes you need to stand your ground.

There is a lot of talk about compromise in the media lately, especially as it pertains to our federal government.  There is a general sense that if political leaders would just be reasonable then there would be an easy pathway to finding common ground.  While I am certainly a fan of win-win negotiations, I don’t always believe that compromise is always the best course of action.  Sometimes you must stand on principle and do what you believe is right rather than doing what seems politically expedient.  Courage can be a lonely place at times. However, going against your core values and beliefs can come with much worse consequences.  Some things are non-negotiable.

The problem many of us experience is that we anchor ourselves to too many things.  If everything is considered important then nothing truly is.  We need to be more thoughtful and selective about the battles we choose to fight.  It is not just about winning.  It is also about how you win and what your motivations were for winning in the first place.   Sometimes you need to yield the field for the greater good or because the issue is not actually that important to you.  Otherwise, you are just engaging in political or personal competitiveness that may feed your ego but is an absolute waste of time.  When you do hold your ground, make sure your resolve is firmly cemented in a position that is worth defending.

Most of the leaders we experience in our lives have clay feet.  It’s not that difficult to smash the foundation of their positions and let them crumble into a rubble of their own making.  It is why when we meet someone of solid character and consistent values, we hold them in such high regard.

What type of person are you?  Where do you get in your own way?  What are your core values?  What is the root of these beliefs?  Are your intentions honorable under any fair level of scrutiny?  What are your non-negotiables?  What is your true responsibility for the position you hold?  When all is said and done, what is the positive legacy you want to leave behind?  Answer these questions honestly and you will know when to stand your ground and when to compromise for the greater good.