You can learn a lot about a leader by how she or he leads through difficult times. My friend who is a CEO with many years of leadership experience shared a story he has recently observed. He said, "When the company was facing difficult circumstances the leader began looking in all the wrong places. He thought he could simply cut expenses and the ship would right itself. He was wrong. He tried to account for every thing but did not recognize the value of the most important things. He never understood the true value of his people." What a powerful statement about leadership!
There is more to leading than being willing to face hard times and making difficult decisions. We have to be able to make the right decisions. Going to the simplest or quickest solution is not always the best choice. To lead well we must have the discipline to look at more than metrics. What is the meaning behind the metrics? What will it take to allow our team to lead out of a crisis? How do we allow our behavior in tough times to align with our words when times are good? Do we truly value our people?
The same is true of our personal relationships. Those who walk with us through the fire become those we trust in our lives. Relationships grow deep when love is valued over circumstances or convenience. They cannot be measured with metrics but hold incredible value.
Our choices define our character. Choose to value the right things in your life and you will make a difference.