The Cost and Opportunity of Standing-With

You put yourself on the line when you stand-with.

Some of my proudest memories are of people I’ve stood-with when it would have been easier to walk-away. I’m not special. It’s likely you’ve done the same.



Standing-with includes disadvantaging yourself in order to advantage another.

You kept a secret that protected someone at personal cost. People wondered why you weren’t doing something when you couldn’t tell them what you were doing.

You gave a second chance when turning away would have protected your status.

You chose to focus on someone’s strength instead of magnifying their weakness.

Years ago, my wife taught me a life changing lesson. She said, “You can choose to focus on what’s wrong. Or you can choose to focus on what’s right.” (That’s not to say that you can ignore what’s wrong. It’s a matter of focus.)

The allure of throwing someone under the bus is self-protection, self-elevation, and freedom from responsibility.


What makes you proud? The times you stood-with or the times you walked-away?

I’ve believed in people when they didn’t believe in themselves. Sometimes they rose to new challenges. Sometimes I overestimated their resolve or talent.

The finest thing you do is walk-with when it’s easy to walk-away.

The fork:

I’m thinking of the people who fought beside me in the heat of leadership. Often the heat they endured was my fault. I did something stupid, but they marched beside me. I said something ignorant and they pressed forward.

The crucial choice happens when serving our own interest is easier than serving the interest of others.

The measure of leadership is seen when self-serving is easier than other-serving.


  1. Stand-with people who screw up. Even if you have to terminate them.
  2. Stand-behind when people try new things.

Life is richer when you stand-with.

How might you stand-with the people on your team?