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.
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.
- Stand-with people who screw up. Even if you have to terminate them.
- Stand-behind when people try new things.
Life is richer when you stand-with.
How might you stand-with the people on your team?
Thanks for this Dan – and thanks for standing by folk. The hard part – I suppose it’s our own needs – is that we don’t always know the rest of the story, how standing by someone impacted them.
So a word of encouragement for you from someone who has been blessed to have folk stand by me (I hear a song …. ). When someone stands by me I feel less alone, I feel less isolated. It interrupts the thoughts that come – that no one cares – with the relief and reality that someone does. It models for me the type of leader I want to be. You may never know the lives that have been impacted by your standing with and for – so thanks Dan.
Have a great day!
Thanks Officer. I’m reminded of people who stood with me. They were often under-appreciated. I didn’t realize what it cost them to take a stand.
Perhaps that’s part of the lesson. Stand with people because someone has stood by you. Stand with people because it’s who you are.
When “we stand tall” and take responsibility of one’s actions especially when we are in the wrong, communicating we will make this right, sets a tone that we are responsible.
Its easy to walk away and do nothing, yet when we stand up and do the right things now allows other to see the personality and showing othrrs the empathy that it takes to admit error and the fortitude it takes to stand up!
Happy Memorial day to all those who served our Country.
Thanks Tim. Leading the way means living the way.
Happy Memorial Day to you, too.
This one reminded me of one of my better skills. Firing people with compassion for them and their dignity. This involves being honest and open well in advance, helping to write their resume, being a quality reference and bridging, if needed, their medical plan. I have done this a number of times and usually without much help from Human Resources.
Thanks Brad. I’m so glad you joined the conversation today. Don’t treat people like the plague when you have to terminate them. The people who leave your organization advertise your organization.
Thank you for sharing this message today, very appropriate. I especially appreciated the sentence, “Standing-with includes disadvantaging yourself in order to advantage another.” It reminds me of a historian, Michael Beschloss, on television talking about Franklin Roosevelt commencing the draft in what came to be preparation for WWII, right before the presidential election. Not the popular thing to do, but the right thing to do.
Thanks Matt. It’s seems rare that a political figure would practice standing-with at personal cost. What a great illustation.
& more insights re connecting: seek sweet spot of mutual interest + ask followup questions to understand more deeply what they are saying & get specific sooner as it boosts credibility & memorability + adopt a mutuality mindset. Healthy relationships are based, not on a quid pro quo yet an ebb & flow of mutual support over time