My pastor friend Mark posted today about an unpopular side of being a leader – the point at which you must define reality when reality is not particularly pleasant, or what you (& others) want to hear. Been there. Done that. And the T-shirt wasn’t all that great.

It reminds me of Jim Collins’ Good to Great principle of confronting the brutal facts. 

“When … you start with an honest and diligent effort to determine the truth of the situation, the right decisions often become self-evident. Not always of course, but often. And even if all decisions do not become self evident, one thing is certain: You absolutely cannont make a series of good decisions without first confronting the brutal facts.” 

Far from being a pessimist, Collins encourages us to pursue the Stockdale Paradox:

Retain faith that you will prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties.

AND at the same time

Confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.

I find that most people want to camp on the first part of the paradox and ignore the reality – I know that is my temptation!. Maybe that’s why we end up with “elephants in our living rooms”. Nah, we wouldn’t want to know that.

Which takes us back to Mark’s post on unpopular leaders. Selah.


One response to “Not-So-Popular

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