This is one of the many pearls of wisdom from Confucius. Your revenge may kill the adversary but a bit of you will be dying as well.
Let’s get a less dramatic interpretation. When we inflict pain on fellow human beings, some of us will require some painkillers at some time as well.
Leaders are required to lead with a good dose of emotional and social intelligence, not precisely new concepts, but perhaps never fully captured. Leaders lead, and in doing so, they are impacting on the lives of others. I am stating the obvious. Many leaders seem oblivious to the consequences of their leadership. Some with a macho style may sound like this: ‘I need to make the tough decisions so, I am sorry, it’s not me, it’s the tough decision, and anything else will be weak leadership, and seen as weakness’.
But nobody says the leader should not make ‘the tough decisions’. This is perfectly compatible with being very sensitive to the consequences, particularly the negative ones for the life of the followers.
In my consulting work for many years I have seen, and still see today, the whole spectrum of sensitiveness. I have seen, and see, leaders laying off people and doing so in an extraordinary sensitive and human way. I’ve seen, and see, the opposite. I’ve seen gratuitous power exercised. I have seen leaders with the social skills of a dead fish. I’ve seen great leaders with a sense and knowledge of their environments that not even a dozen Employee Engagement surveys could provide.
So, here is another leadership question: how deep is my grave? How is the digging going?
If you are not a good, sensitive, emotional and social intelligent leader, carry on, but be careful when moving around with that hole in the ground that seems to get bigger every day.
Featured in my latest book: Camino – Leadership Notes on the Road. Now available in paperback.
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