Let’s Get Real with Temptation

We grow weaker every time we succumb to temptation. But Emerson said, “We gain the strength of the temptation we resist.”

Temptation and immediacy:

Suppose you’re tempted to ignore a performance issue. Why? Immediate comfort feels easier than long-term benefit.

Temptation ignores the future and offers shallow comfort in the moment.

In the short-term, it might feel more comfortable to:

  1. Ignore tough conversations.
  2. Elevate your status at the expense of others.
  3. Lie to cover mistakes.

The lie of temptation:

Temptation says it’s easier to choose ease in the short-term. But it’s a lie. Dealing with tough issues only get’s more difficult as time passes.

It’s easier to tell the truth today than to cover a lie tomorrow.

Experienced leaders know that difficult situations tend to hurt more as time passes. Choosing ease today exacerbates pain tomorrow.

Things you avoid bite you bad later.

The backlash of yielding to temptation is future catastrophe.

Ego and temptation:

Temptation doesn’t care if you grow and succeed.

Temptation supports bruised egos. Suppose you received negative feedback. Reject any temptation to blame others or make excuses for yourself.

Temptation wants to protect ego by pushing responsibility on others.

You never lead by rejecting responsibility.

The sinister nature of temptation:

Edmund was immediately addicted to Turkish Delight in the Chronicles of Narnia. The more he ate, the more he wanted.

Throw someone under the bus once, for example, and it’s easier to throw others under the bus. Give into temptation a few times and it’s a habit.

The more you succumb to temptation, the easier it becomes to succumb, until consequences catch up with you.

What are some leadership temptations?

What suggestions do you have for dealing with leadership temptations?