Leaders Say Things Others Won’t Say

I have invited several top leaders, authors, and bloggers to share their wisdom with Leadership Freak readers. Thanks to John C. Maxwell for contributing this insightful post on saying things others won’t say.

It’s better for you to say it than for someone else to whisper it.

One of the hardest things about leadership is when you not only have to make the tough call, but also must speak a tough truth. Saying things that people don’t want to hear is never easy. It’s never fun. It’s one of those things that many leaders wish they could delegate. But because tough news should come from the leader, it’s a weight you have to carry.

If you find yourself in a position where you have to say some hard things, take heart. Just remember:

1. It’s better for you to say it than for someone else to whisper it. Addressing tough topics on the front end helps eliminate the uncertainty and speculation that fuel destructive gossip.

2. People respect leaders who see reality clearly. When you can speak openly and honestly on difficult subjects, you show your people you understand what’s going on.

Denial is never a leader’s friend.

3. Growth comes from crucible moments. As a leader, some of your greatest growth will come from your hardest times. Being able to address even the most difficult of subjects with the people you lead will help you grow not only as A leader, but as THEIR leader. Don’t underestimate the importance of both of those things.

Over my years in leadership, I’ve had to have some uncomfortable and challenging conversations. I’ve had to dismiss employees, address mistakes, and acknowledge failures. Speaking into those tough times is never easy, but it is at the heart of good leadership.

No matter where you find yourself on your leadership journey, don’t shy away from saying the things others won’t say. Just find a way to say them with care and be willing to walk people through the aftermath. You and your people will be glad you did.

What suggestions do you have when it’s time to have uncomfortable, challenging conversations?

John C. Maxwell, a #1 New York Times bestselling author, coach and speaker, was identified as the #1 leader in business by the AMA and the world’s most influential leadership expert by Inc. in 2014. His organizations have trained more than 5 million leaders in every nation. Visit JohnMaxwell.com for more information.