In principle, when a group leader makes a decision it is ideally based on multiple interests, based on more than just one perspective. We think of leaders as being “higher up.” They see more from where they sit.
Typically each group member has a relatively narrow interest; a specific recommendation for what the leader should decide based on a specific point of view. Yet the good group leader considers all the interests of all the group members and several other interests as well. My leaders rarely decide things just how I want. And that’s okay.
When deciding how to vote, the politician considers not only the interests of her constituents but also the interests of her colleagues with whom she has to work to remain effective, the interests of the government employees that have to implement the decision, the interests of other governments with whom her government must maintain good relations, and her personal interests which may include moral or ethical convictions; just to name a few. Whew! Leadership is hard.
Practical Tip: If you are a follower, accept that your leader will not make every decision in line with your own self interest. Convey your interest, play your part, and recognize that you are not seeing the whole picture.
If you are a leader, see the whole picture before deciding. Set aside your narrow self interest in lieu of broad group interests.
Whether you have a leadership title or not, practice leadership from wherever you sit by considering multiple interests. Leadership is not bestowed by title, it is the ability to rise above.
– Craig Freshley
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