Toughest Aspect of Leadership – Surrender

Surrender?  What?  We hear cues almost daily in our culture that surrender is not a viable business position.  Surrender is akin to failure, losing and admitting defeat, or is it?

Mike Myatt at Forbes wrote a great piece arguing that actually surrender is a mark of a great leader, not a weak one.


As managers, we seek to control our operations, our processes and, lets face it, our people.  The result tends to make processes more predictable and who doesn’t want that, right?

As leaders, we ought to be unlocking potential, remove bottlenecks, develop opportunity all so that our business thrives and grows beyond the status quo of our existing, predictable operations.

Surrender allows us to get out of the way of the micro and controlling mindset to discover and promote value we otherwise would have missed.

I agree with Mark Myatt, surrender is not the answer in all situations.  Nor is control.  A thriving, successful, passion centric business needs both excellence in management control and surrender in it’s leadership.

You can read the original article here.


Signs of a Crippled Leader

I just enjoyed this piece from the Leadership Collaboratory on signs of a crippled leader.

Monica Wofford writes of “Seven Signs your Confidence is Fading”. I enjoyed this short piece as it speaks to an area generally not addressed, namely a leader losing confidence.

“Few are willing to discuss the very element that can quickly cripple a leader: Confidence.”


7 Signs of a Crippled Leader

1) Focused on Favorite on the Playground
2) Taking Things Personally
3) Getting Defensive
4) The Fear Factor
5) Reacting in Response
6) Quick to Hire, Slow to Fire
7) Too Much Letting Go

As you read through these, you’ll find that you’ve seen most at play at various times in your career but perhaps not come to the conclusion that these are symptoms of a larger issue.

I particularly liked #1, focusing on the favorite. A leader on their game knows that not everyone will like all that they do. Being liked is not the criteria for leading. A good leader needs to be respected first. A leader with declining confidence though may spend more and time and focus on the local favorite as a boost to their own declining sense of confidence and morale. I’ve seen this one and the symptom was right on the money as an indicator of a larger confidence issue.