Growing up in West Virginia we used to say that a politician was a man who could straddle a barbwire fence naked and smile, coming down squarely on both sides of an issue.
In high school debate we learned to argue both sides equally well, even if we only agreed personally with one side. This is a useful skill for critical analysis and persuasion, but it’s not leadership.
Whatever group or organization you’re leading, people are looking for a decisions and action, not waffling and delay. Winston Churchill understood the importance of taking a firm stand: “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. - Churchill Click To Tweet
Leaders need to take a stand, pick a side, choose a direction. They need a strong Point of View.
Let’s be clear – a leadership POV is not “whatever works for me in the moment.” A leadership POV must be built on principles and logic. A leadership POV defines who you are serving, why, and where the lines are. A leadership POV makes it clear who you aren’t serving, what your group does not do, and what’s not consistent with your best capabilities.A leadership POV must be built on principles and logic. Click To Tweet
A principle-based POV will help you make smarter decisions. One of my early bosses used to coach us by stating, “A strong point of view is worth 30 IQ points.” You’ll have a framework to quickly sort out bad ideas, and avoid some of the temptations peculiar to leaders.
A principle-based POV will help you deliver better results, too. To a casual observer many martial arts seem fixated on punches and blocks. The best students learn quickly to leverage a strong stance to deliver power.
You are not an amoeba.
You are not a foolish vote-mongering politician.
You do not intentionally seek enemies but they may make themselves enemies of your position.