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Perfect Professionalism or Perfect Pretense?

When we establish effective leadership, the rest becomes icing and gravy.

It’s always best to take the “high road.”

Ugghh. When I hear that, I view it as the mark of those who choose to take the path of least resistance. Trust me, there is a distinct difference. Please process this within the vein through which it is given.

I am not extending rein to instigate arguments on every street corner unchecked; however, I am calling us to excellence to decide whether we are squelching dissension or harnessing a healthy dose of the fear of confrontation.

Contention as well as avoidance poses the same evil: discord, low trust, and an organizational team that is ultimately not unified. Why is it such a difficult task to combine relationships and results? Results leaders tend to inspire contest, and relationship leaders are often guilty of avoidance.

“Kimberly, how do we combine the two?” I thought you’d never ask.

In case you haven’t guessed, I tend to be a results leader. Experience and the loss of good team members have taught me to look outside myself for decision-making that enhances the greater good. Yes, we are called to our authentic selves, but the key to building great teams is the effective use of awareness that acts accordingly.

I’ll explain. As leaders, we must possess a degree of self-awareness through which we leverage our strengths against our challenges to become effective. Notice I said effective -- not feared, not popular, not the most organized, not well-liked, but effective.

When we establish effective leadership, the rest becomes icing and gravy. It is important not to use awareness as a crutch of stagnation hovering on the path of least resistance in a forbidden zone just below excellence. We must not only lead true to our personal values, but we must act in consideration and out of respect for those who may even represent opposing beliefs.   

Translation: “professionalism” should not be used as a pretense for avoiding challenge resolutions that cannot be ignored. Self loyalty should never transcend team advancement. There is no need to kill a mosquito with a cannon, but surgery requires more than a band aid. Teams seek resolution and need it to experience healthy growth, sustainability, and innovation.

Next Time:  “Personal Mastery Please!”

I welcome your feedback and questions! For action steps on team challenge and professional resolution, visit ecstrains.com

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Kimberly Polite September 21, 2011 at 08:17 PM
Glenn, Thank you for reading. I look forward to being a part of the "Patch" community!
Franke Santos September 22, 2011 at 07:20 PM
So how do you foster that kind of self-aware, effective leadership within an organization?
Kimberly Polite September 23, 2011 at 05:55 AM
Hi Franke, Thank you for your feedback. Your question is simply straight forward, but it is not simple. Many organizations envision sustainable change as a matter of setting strategic goals and checking them off the list. Goal accomplishment and change are dependent upon an organizational make-up of the right people in the right positions postured for productivity. Those people have to be self aware, and that self awareness comes from taking steps towards personal mastery (goal setting, true objectivity of personal strengths and struggles, accountability, action, follow through, and continued growth---job assignment is about purpose, not just placement). The challenge is that we are sometimes not the most honest with ourselves about challenges, accountability, and follow-through. That's where assessments and coaching become useful. Thank you for this "action-packed" question! Warmest Regards, Kimberly

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