When I wrote last week about why understanding belief systems is critical for leadership, I talked about how we empower ourselves – in life and in business – when we let go of our concerns that others will judge us and replace these concerns with the understanding that when they do it’s a reflection of their belief system and not of our personal value, worth, or truth.
This is such an important principle and one I wish I had understood much earlier in life.
What this means in simple terms is if I judge you in some way, my judgment is about me – a reflection of my belief systems and even of where I am “at” in my life – and not about you. When you, as a leader, judge those who work for you or your colleagues, your judgments are about you and your belief systems, and not about them.
What This Means to You as a Leader
As a leader, it’s critical that you lead on purpose, create and nurture a vision, and align your team and strategies to bring this vision to life. To evaluate your success in these areas and the success of your team and your business, it’s essential to have objective measurements because your personal belief systems are going to subconsciously drive your own subjective evaluations.
For example, if a member of your team disagrees with your vision and tells you they “can’t be true to themself” if they help you work toward it, the obvious decision is to let them go because they will hinder the progress of your team. The question is, will you judge them for disagreeing with your vision? Will you judge others who have a different belief system than you do? How will you handle these judgments?
Some people may have a belief system that would judge a person harshly for disagreeing with a leader, or for choosing to “be true to themself” in potential detriment to their career. A leader like this might not support the team member, look down on them, ridicule them in front of others, and make it very difficult for them to find a new role in another company.
But a leader who recognizes that the team member’s decision is a reflection of their different belief systems and not of their team member’s personal value, intelligence, integrity, strength or what have you, would say, “I’m sorry we won’t be able to continue working together but I respect your decision and will do everything I can to help you find a new role where you’ll believe in the vision.”
What kind of leader are you?
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Photo by DanaK-WaterPenny.