A Case for Resolute Leadership - Higher Ground Consulting Group, LLC
February 25, 2020
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ResoluteI’m a resolute leader. It’s the approach to leadership that is most natural for me. I hold myself and others to high standards. I can be blunt, especially when I notice a problem. It’s easy for me to become impatient with incompetent people. I’m determined to reach my goals and use logic to get there.

Being Resolute Has Its Strengths

You can learn a lot from someone like me. I’m great at solving problems and finding a way through obstacles. I hold people accountable and can separate facts from feelings. My high standards ensure quality results.

It Also Has Its Challenges

Of course, any leadership approach that is overused will create issues. I have learned those lessons the hard way. People have told me I can be insensitive, negative, and cynical. All true, especially when I am under pressure to perform or win. But that doesn’t mean being resolute isn’t worth emulating.

What You Can Learn from Resolute Leaders, Like Me

A big part of being resolute is how you think about situations. If you prefer to maintain positive relationships as a leader that mindset could get in the way of being resolute. You must fight for what you believe in, rather than just be a good team player. It’s not rude or selfish to stand your ground. Always giving in won’t earn you the respect of others.

At their best Resolute leaders challenge the status quo to achieve great results.

Suggestions for Becoming More Resolute

There are many ways to practice being resolute as a leader. Here are three that work for me.

  1. Hold Others Accountable. Nothing frustrates a workplace more than a lack of accountability. People show up for work intending to do a good job. When our expectations aren’t clear, or we fail to point out performance gaps, productivity and quality suffers. I know how to have a tough conversation without destroying the relationship. You can too.
  2. Address Problems. A healthy workplace doesn’t sweep problems under the rug. I am quick to call out deficiencies and encourage others to do the same. It’s not always easy for me to ask for help but people I work with know they can tell me the truth. That leads to better outcomes because no one is protecting relationships at the expense of dealing with an issue.
  3. Make the Unpopular Decisions When Needed. Delivering bad news or standing your ground isn’t always going to be easy. Get over it! No one likes a leader who waffles, who fails to deliver. Your unpopular decision will get easier if you pull your data from multiple sources, are proactive in announcing the plans, and you share the rationale for why this is needed in the first place.
What’s Next?

Some of you might be thinking, “What a cold, heartless guy.” Being tough-minded, determined, and skeptical can seem like the facts matter more than the feelings. I understand that sentiment. But if you followed me around in my work you would also notice something else. Clients love my candor. They know I won’t disappoint. My feedback is firm but fair. They will achieve their goals because I won’t let them off the hook.

My resolute leadership approach doesn’t work all the time. No leadership approach will. I’ve learned to tap the best of my resolute skills when there is a need to focus on outcomes, tackle a tough problem, or make the right decision. That’s when you should know how to be resolute as well.

Photo Credit: istockphoto.com

Ken Byler

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