Making A Point vs Making A Difference
Many leaders face this dilemma at one point or another; their behavior pushes them further away from what they really want, but they can’t see it. They have layers of defenses and excuses, pointing fingers at everyone except themselves. One of my favorite questions to ask in these situations is, “Do you want to be right, or be effective? You get to choose but you can’t have both.” This usually invites some serious self-reflection.
Recently, my daughter Lauren shared with me another way of saying it,
Are you trying to make a point, or make a difference?
I love this because it not only captures the dark side of mission-driven leaders, but it illustrates the mindset difference between poor leaders vs great leaders.
When you are trying to make a point,
- You seek to be understood, not to understand
- You are invested in being right
- Being justified is more important then being effective
- Intensity is your secret weapon, i.e. saying it louder will help
- Ego runs the show
- You strive to prove you are right and win the argument
- You prefer debate over dialogue
- You’d rather teach people a lesson than help them grow
- You dismiss people who don’t come around to your point of view
- You measure success based on compliance
- People leave you because they don’t want to feel inferior and insignificant. According to new research by DDI, 65% of employees are looking for a new job, and less than one in three leaders are competent in identifying and developing talent.
- You may win the battle, but lose the war
When you are trying to make a difference,
- You seek to understand, not to be understood
- Being effective is more important than being justified. What could you gain if you gave up being justified?
- You recognize the difference between having values and pushing beliefs
- You inspire people with your vision and they follow for their own reasons
- Inclusion is your secret weapon
- You meet people where they are and journey together
- You prefer dialogue over debate
- You strive to influence diverse perspectives towards a common goal
- People follow you because they want to feel valuable and significant
- You measure success based on engagement and impact
- You take the long view
It’s your choice, but you can’t have both. Which one will it be today?
Compassionate Accountability® elegantly balances care for people, creative problem-solving, and focus on core values. It’s the toolkit for making a difference.