“You know, great powers don’t get angry, great powers don’t make decisions hastily in a crisis.” -John R Allen
During my career, I have been lucky enough to lead teams and truly make a difference in individual’s lives. And as with any such opportunity, there have been critiques. I have sometimes been criticized for taking too long to make a decision. In certain circumstances, people have longed for swift judgements, which from their perspective, were extraordinary clear. But I recall, in all of those circumstances, there would be those severely adversely affected by such a decision. Not everyone on a team knows the intricacies behind their colleagues’ stories.
People with limited understanding of one side of a situation will blindly call for swift “justice,” as they understand it. But they have not thought through completely the lives of those on the other side. And it is not always their job to do so. But it is clearly the decision maker’s job to fully and carefully evaluate all sides and all options.
True leadership is thoughtful leadership. It is not leadership seeking attention, leadership seeking power or leadership with a selfish agenda. A leader must not make uninformed decisions at lightning speed so they can be viewed as decisive and resolute. People who make such decisions do so only so that their egos can be inflated by the short-term praise they win. But the long-term effects of those hasty decisions are potentially devastating and permanent.
As a leader, you are entrusted by your people to be thoughtful. They expect you to be fair. They need you to think through all intended and unintended consequences. You should be educated in the rights and wrongs of historical events. The President of this great country continues to make reckless, impulsive, careless decisions which will severely alter the lives of so many so that he can continue to build a shallow resume filled only by ego-driven motivation.
We must continue to think and resist.