Leadership strategies: When to step in, step up, or step out . . .

Welcome colleagues

The challenge this week is to know when to do what.  As we continue to think like a carpenter ,  we must continue to work on our critical thinking and refractive thinking skills to know when.  As a leader, when do we step in? When do we step up? When do we learn to simply step out and let go?

Experience is a wise teacher to look to for advice. How do we know when it’s time to step in to address an issue? Particularly with conflict, if we wait too long, the situation can get out of hand and fast.  If we step in too quickly, we could step on the toes of our colleagues who are trying to advance change.  The $64,000 question is how do we know when?

There is a terrific book by Dr. Sample, The Contrarian’s Guide to Leadership that I read during my doctoral journey 10 years+ ago.  Sample’s concept of thinking gray may be of help.  How do we COMPLETELY suspend judgment to allow all the facts to come to us BEFORE ATTEMPTING ANY decision? No easy feat if you have ever tried.  *Smiles* Human nature seems to be simply quick to judge before someone has even stopped speaking.  How can we practice this skill of open mindedness? Of NOT leaping to quick judgements? Of being patient with the process as we investigate the situation?  Society seems to want everything NOW. Patience is a wise skill to cultivate, learning when to step in, and when to step out or stay out or not get involved in the first place.

Stepping up is something completely different. The phrase–stepping up to a challenge is what comes to mind.  Are you ready? Do you avoid conflict? (most of us do!)  However when called up to address the situation–regardless if we are ready, regardless if we have the skills, regardless if we have the drive, the will, or perhaps even the patience–the question is–do we answer the call?  Do we step up and do the best we can under the circumstances?  Do we reach out for help if needed? Do we step back and do nothing? And is doing nothing the right or best decision to make depending on the situation?

Leadership is about character.  Leadership is easy when life is easy.  When life becomes difficult, unexpected, unpleasant, or worse is when character of a leader is demonstrated.  Do you have what it takes? Have you ever been called to step up to take the lead and demonstrate effective and authentic leadership when it counts? Remember, not what we know, but what we can prove.  Prove to yourself and others that you have what it takes by stepping up when called upon to do so.  If not you, then who? If not now, then when?

Keep on keeping on!

Thoughts from the Academic Entrepreneur . . .

Dr. Cheryl

Share
February 2nd, 2018 by admin

Leave a comment

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.