The Greater Good

In EOS®, one of the questions we ask of leaders is“Do you act for the greater good of the organization vs. your personal best interests?”The quick answer is “Of course I put the company first.” In most cases that’s probably true. However, there are subtle areas that trap leaders into sending unintended messages. Preventing these requires discipline to maintain a true leadership posture and protect your personal brand. Warren Bennis said, “A leader doesn’t just get the message across, he is the message.”

Here are four golden rules to prevent your personal feelings from getting in the way:

  • Never be passive aggressive. Deal with conflict in an open and honest way.
  • Take full responsibility for your team’s outcomes, even if it’s not remotely “your fault.” If it’s on your watch, you own it.
  • Turn the other cheek for the sake of staying engaged in a dialogue. Don’t go down the rabbit hole of tit for tat.
  • And perhaps toughest of all, always take the high road. Fighting back is instinctual but usually counterproductive.

Employees pay attention to everything. Our word choice, body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice all send messages. Be sure they always reflect “the greater good.”

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