My dad was a supervisor at the Boeing company for over 40 years. He is a Great Depression survivor and while he had only an 8th grade level education, my dad had a wealth of wisdom acquired from the school of hard knocks.
Dad used simple one-liners that I did not appreciate until I got older.
For example. When I asked permission to do something because my friends were doing it, I got the one-liner “Beth, if everyone went and jumped off the bridge would you go jump off the bridge?”
I got to tell ya, I hated that one-liner until one day I said it to my own young sons.
Suddenly, the light bulb went on — my dad was BRILLIANT!!!!
Now, as I’ve watched the political and Benghazi events unfold over the last few weeks, I hear two of my dad’s one-liners – “be sure your sins will find you out” and “you can fool some of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time”.
Another one-liner was, “there is always two sides to every story”.
And while I’ve learned the great value of listening to both sides of a story before making a decision, I am so sick and tired of the political “spins” we are forced to endure because there is no ethical boundaries. There are no rules against telling lies, withholding information or pulling things out of context.
We are now at the place where listening without discernment is likely to lead to wrong conclusions.
Here is a leadership lesson from my dad:
No staff, volunteer or donor expects Executive Directors to be perfect. When mistakes or bad things happen (and they will happen) people expect the leader to take responsibility (even if they personally did not do it), sincere repentance and the leader’s plan to help assure that it will not let it happen again.
It’s really very simple.
Leaders – TAKE RESPONSIBILITY.