This Question Will Unite Or Destroy Your Party
Do you want to be justified, or do you want to be effective?
Every executive leader, board of directors, parent, coach, presidential candidate and member of congress faces this question many times a day. Which one will they choose? Which one do you choose?
? I want to be justified
- Argue the “rightness” of your views.
- Turn conflict into a drama battle to be won
- Emphasize differences between you and the other side
- View collaboration and compromise as failures
- Blame gridlock on the other party
- Success means: blocking the other side
? I want to be effective
- Debate what’s best for the most people
- Use conflict as an opportunity to create something new
- Emphasize similarities between you and the other side
- View collaboration and compromise as virtues
- Share responsibility for gridlock
- Success means: getting stuff done
Right now the GOP is at war with itself on which option to chose. One choice leads to dead ends. The other leads to the future. Effective leaders leverage a powerful suite of communication skills to lean into conflict and lead out of drama. The rest settle for justification.
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In the time I have been fortunate enough to work with Nate and the folks at Next Element, answering this question has been transformative to my approach to leadership. “Do you want to be right, or do you want to be effective?” As a persister base, who was ‘dug in’ pretty deep, it took a while for me to find the answer. It’s painful to watch the political process which is also dug in. I’m ready for the candidates to find the answer. Thanks for the post Nate!
Thanks Paul. That question really gets to the heart of the issue.