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Guiding Principle #7: Perhaps this is the Moment for which you were Created

Updated: Jan 20

Leaders often encounter crossroads that test their resolve, capability, and vision. For me, this principle has never been more true in times of uncertainty, challenge, and ambiguity. This guiding principle has been one that has been pivotal in teaching me more about myself than any other...this singular principle has led me to assess situations falsely, yet brought great learning through my tenacity to align with it. "Perhaps this is the moment for which you were created" speaks to pivotal moments when decisions are shifting my mindset and causing me to question the reality of a situation.

Originating from a blend of historical wisdom and modern leadership thought, this principle suggests that certain challenges are not mere obstacles but defining opportunities for a leader to make a significant impact.

However, this inspiring belief can be a double-edged sword. While it encourages leaders to rise to the occasion, it may also lead some to linger in adverse situations, under the misconception that perseverance alone will bring about change. Recognizing when to stay the course and when to pivot is a crucial skill in leadership.

Embedded in the notion of rising to the moment, this principle can help leaders in the following skillsets:

  1. Strategic Decision-Making: They assess situations with a clear understanding of both short-term hurdles and long-term goals.

  2. Emotional Intelligence: Such leaders are not just driven by passion; they balance their enthusiasm with a keen understanding of their team's morale and the practicalities of the healthcare environment.

  3. Adaptability: They are open to change and willing to modify strategies if the initial approach proves less effective.

From my personal experience, I've found navigating the complexities of salary decisions in a leadership role can be challenging, especially when these decisions are not aligned with my fundamental belief in fairness, as outlined in my #1 Leadership Principle: "Never Mess with Someone's Money!" I have encountered situations where salary determinations were made without my input, leading to outcomes grounded in biased and unfair standards. While such decisions might temporarily enhance business profits, they contradict my ethical stance that salary practices should be equitable and based on a consistent framework. In my experience, adhering to this principle of fairness in salary administration not only upholds my ethical values but also significantly contributes to the well-being and motivation of the team members. While not always met with the same enthusiasm, I have found the moments in which I can take a stance in this area to be a meaningful purpose for which I was created.

Conversely, when experiences extend beyond purpose, or if a leader is not equipped with a mindset to believe there is a greater purpose for them to serve, the leader will often:

  1. Overcommitment to a Failing Strategy: They continue to pour resources into an unproductive plan, driven by the belief that their persistence alone will yield results.

  2. Ignoring Feedback: Such leaders often dismiss constructive criticism or warning signs that their approach isn't working.

  3. Neglecting Self-Care and Team Morale: They might push themselves and their teams excessively, leading to burnout and declining performance execution.

Let's break this down for better understanding and alignment. I've noticed a common issue where leaders mix up their true purpose with simply hitting a goal or a metric. It's crucial to realize that these are two very different things. Take my own situation as an example: my purpose is to be equitable and fair, but my departmental goal might be to hit certain profit margins. You can see how focusing too much on one could affect my commitment to the other.

This confusion isn't uncommon. I've seen many leaders set personal goals and, in their pursuit, they end up causing a lot of upheaval for their teams. They're so focused on these goals that they lose sight of the bigger picture. But remember, leadership is about more than just reaching targets. It's about staying true to your core values and making a real difference to those you oversee. So, as a leader, in my example, I ask myself: are my actions aligned with my purpose of being fair and equitable, or am I just chasing numbers? This self-awareness is key to being a leader who not only achieves goals but also positively impacts those around them.

Ultimately, the key is discernment – the ability to judge well. Leaders must be vigilant, constantly evaluating whether their "moment" is still leading to positive change or if it has turned into a quagmire hindering growth. This requires humility to accept when a course correction is needed and the courage to make the tough decision to do it. "Perhaps this is the moment for which you were created" is a powerful guiding principle for leaders, but it demands a balanced approach. Leaders must be passionate and resilient yet equally pragmatic and responsive to the realities of their environment. The true essence of leadership lies in knowing when to persevere and when to pivot for the greater good of the team.

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