Three “D” words for leaders
This is the fourth installment in the Alphabet for Leaders. Today it’s the letter “D.”
The witness to pervasive discouragement is the plethora of articles, talks, and books on the power of being positive. I’m positively convinced that everyone get’s discouraged. Discouragement’s cold fingers persistently pull at people.
Here’s a 3D downer. Orbiting discouragement you’ll find disillusionment and defeat, the 3D trinity of darkness. Oh my, it’s getting dark in here! I think the deadly sequence could be disillusionment-discouragement-defeat.
Causes of discouragement
Discouragement is caused by; disappointment, slow or no progress, fatigue, lost vision, constant criticism, aloneness, feeling misunderstood or under-appreciated, nagging poor health, failure, and more.
Discouragement is deadly because, if left unchecked, causes eventually become symptoms. For example, discouragement is not only caused by fatigue it creates fatigue.
Causes define cures. In my case, one cause of discouragement is aloneness. Sadly, feeling alone turns to self-pity. Then, bam! You have the deadly 3D trio of disillusionment, discouragement, and defeat. However, “letting others in” defeats discouragement. I’m not talking about letting people in for a pity party. I’m talking about working through problems and finding solutions with someone rather than alone. It feels great to let a partner in. Everyone needs a “with.”
It took years for me to admit my wife was right. I keep people out, including her. I solve my own problems. In my mind, it’s a matter of competence. Perhaps it’s pride? In my situation, learning to let others in destroys aloneness and defeats discouragement.
From you to them
Self-awareness enables sensitivity to others. Use your personal mud puddle of discouragement to open your eyes to others who need a lift. Turn from you to them. Napoleon Bonaparte said, “A leader is a dealer in hope.”
What causes and cures for discouragement can you offer the Leadership Freak community?
Can you delineate more “D” words for leaders?
I believe that causes define cures. And between causes and cures lies our efforts and actions. So, disconnect is the major reason for discouragement. Disconnect between you and purpose, thinking and doing, perception and reality.
Discouragement arises from difference, division and disconnect. Difference in treatment, approach and attitude, division of people to rule and dominate, disconnect by information, interaction and accessibility.
Cures for discouragement is to connect, unite and integrate people, purpose and activities. A leader should always be connected with people and unite them to find integrated solutions. Absence of domination is humiliation and leader should learn humiliation, Unfortunately, today leaders believe in dominating, dividing and creating difference so that they can play around and satisfy their needs. Other leadership words start from D are dare, dedicate and delegate. Leader must dare to delegate and dedicate.Without these three D’s, a person is not a leader.
I think you are spot on when you encourage us to connect with purpose as a way of addressing discouragement.
Dan — your insight on this one — the 3D trinity of disillusionment, discouragement, defeat is definitely true. How people interact when coming together to solve problems will actually determine whether some people have the courage to reach out again.
Whatever is said and how it is said during these connections can either create the positive synergy that gets rid of the 3D OR reinforce it. So although I agree that reaching out and having others help is tremendously helpful, negativity in those connections can be damaging.
Cynics, brutal honesty, emotionally packed phrases that subtly suggest blame, ….. add to 3D vs. eliminate it.
Here’s a post with a few phrases to bury from your vocabulary. Would love additions to it.
Keep the alphabet coming. I love your posts!
Loving reading your comments and thank you for your kind words.
I hear what you are saying. Connecting with a porcupine isn’t an enjoyable experience that fuels 3D interactions. Good point.
Delighted you left your link to “Bury These Phrases.” I popped over read and enjoyed it. Left a comment I hope will be useful to your readers.
One “D” word that falls into the cure category is “decisiveness.” I usually want to gain consensus AND keep everyone happy, with can really detract from leading well. I admire leaders who (although I may disagree) understand the nuanced timing of when to just DECIDE, giving their subordinates a clear path to follow and eliminating a lot of wallowing around with no direction.
Direct and to the point! You wrote decisively.
I agree, as long as decisiveness includes an opportunity for input where people feel heard, it really works.
Best to you Paula
We could add a fourth leg to the 3Ds…denial. (Hope it does not become an eight-legged critter!)
Denial that there may be a problem. Denial of negative feelings. Denial that we need to change…to even feel better. And sadly, denying hope for others or ourselves.
One of the top issues that every company deals with is facing up to the hard truth and having the hard conversations. There is too much dancing around!
Great seeing you,
Doc’s featured contributor bio is at:
To overcome discouragement, I would add DRIVE and DETERMINATION with a bias toward action. Not only does drive and determination need to be ingrained in a leader, but drive and determination must flow from the leader in order to instill a sense of drive and determination within his people.
Reading your comment made me think how drive can get us through short term emotional dips. Drive means to me that I push forward on days that I might feel like sitting back.
Jim’s featured contributor bio is at:
I’m a glass half full kind of guy, so I like the positive D’s that have been offered – drive, determination, decisive (although that can be misused to Decimate consensus-building). But my fav D is Destination. For a successful journey, leaders need to be crystal clear about where they want to go – their mission and goals – and use that Destination as an unchanging Pole Star as they navigate changing situations.
I’m a 1/2 empty,hence negative 3D’s. 🙂
OOO, I love “D”estination! Some think decisions determine destination. However, I think destinations determine decisions. In other words, I make choices that drive me toward a predetermined destination.
You can see I resonate with your comment.
You have my regards,
Mark just posted “How to Ruin your brand …. ” on his blog:
Dan – thanks for the link!
You wrote wise words: for strong leaders, destination determines decisions. We start grounded in an unflinching acknowledgement of today’s realities and the unflinching Pole Star of our destination above us. Our decisions are about navigating from here to there. If you’re headed north and the wind comes out of the east, well, there’s your decision: when and how hard to tack. But if you don’t know where you’re headed, what’s the point in deciding anything?
Determination. Driven. This comes with the territory of being a leader. Being both determined and driven means that we as leaders constantly drive ourselves forward, looking to improve, enhace, perfect and enable.
How about deciciveness? A leader must be able to make the right choices and stand by them. What do you think?