The Most Important Decision Leaders Make Everyday

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Leaders are confronted with making decisions everyday. It is their choice how they treat people around them. Do they punish them for their mistakes or do they use the opportunity to empower them? Do they use the strings to bring them down or let them fly by providing right direction?

A few months back I was at a Chinese restaurant with a friend, we went up to the first floor, took our table and ordered some soft drinks. I couldn’t help but notice that the floor we were sitting on was quite noisy so I requested the waiter if we could move to the floor above as it was more private and less noisier.

I guess it was “one of those days” for this young waiter and as soon as I asked him if we could move he immediately ignored me like I was non-existent to him. I was surprised, a bit upset and couldn’t figure why he would behave in such a manner.

Opportunity To Either Empower Or Condemn

Now I had a choice here – I could make him feel miserable for what he had done as the owner of the restaurant was also a friend of mine or… I could use this as an opportunity to positively build him up. And…this is the most important decision leaders make everyday – to build and empower or to condemn and destroy. People will disappoint but what do you as a leader do with that disappointment? Do you use it as an opportunity to build people up or to bring them down? Making someone feel horrible to get the job done or to prove your superiority might seem like the easy way out, but it’s actually the harmful way out.

Coming back to the story – the same waiter continued to serve us our meal, we didn’t get the floor we wanted to sit on but it didn’t matter to me right now – I had a goal that I wanted to achieve with the kiddo (waiter). We finished our meal and paid the bill, just as were walking out I called him over to the side and handed him a good amount of tips. I obviously had no reason to tip him, but I’ve learnt that grace is required to build people up.

I told him about the importance of valuing people well and had a respectful conversation with him for about two minutes. My goal was to communicate to him that people are important resources and that he can’t afford to take them lightly. He seemed to have received my message well.

You can’t build people up just saying kind words, you need actions as well to show you are passionate about building them up.

Anyone can make people feel miserable and condemned, it isn’t too hard to make someone feel bad for their mistakes but great leaders will make the all important decision to empower and build other people, everyday.


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