The Ultimate Measure for Today’s Courageous Leader
Leading in the world today can be challenging. A disconcerting veil of uncertainty has been draped over our lives, and I find things to be a lot more gray and blurry than simply black and white. Often, the clarity of an outcome is uncertain and self-assurance can be hard to come by. How do we ultimately know we’ve reached the right outcome? We are often told to “take risks” and “be bold” but this can be as confusing and immeasurable as anything. Personally, I encourage others to do this, while struggling with it myself. I have found that when we complete a project, secure a transaction or finish deliberating over a difficult decision, it is important to ask: “Do I have No Regrets? And Will I have No Regrets in the future?” No Regrets simply means that, when we’re done, we’ve exhausted every effort and we can feel the freedom to move on, no matter the outcome.
I believe my generation stands the greatest chance of having more “death-bed regret” than any other generation. Why? Today we live lives that are simple, easy, politically correct and comfortable, and still are successful. When our time here is over, we may ask ourselves if we had been courageous enough. We will wonder why we had our heads buried in our iPhones and how we became hostage to Outlook. We will reflect on why we never truly invested in the lives of others, or ponder if we ever stood for something worth fighting for. But it’s never too late to change the course we’re on. Here are a few things I have kept in front of me as a reminder.
NO REGRETS LENS.
Leadership is not for those who are comfortable within the confines of caution and safety. Step out and be bold. If we take a No Regrets approach the outcome is of lesser consequence. The potential for failure only means the potential to learn. There becomes a freedom that fans the flame of courage.
Show that you care. Listen. Be present. Turn the conversations to positive. Be present when you are present with them. (Something I am getting feedback to do better at.)
REMEMBER THE CAUSE.
Cause-centered leaders excite those who are following them. It is ultimately about finding joy in what we are doing. The cause matters. I have found everyone wants to be a part of something bigger. We should bring this into every situation, every meeting, every conversation is possible.
The ultimate measure is no regrets at the end.