We’ve all heard the familiar saying “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
Bullshit! Our ears are duly tickled, but the hidden agenda at the core of this counsel is positively poisonous.
Don’t let anyone impel you to surrender your voice with his or her rhetoric of control.
You have a responsibility to participate in the purpose of your organization. One of the most effective things you can do to enhance the leadership process is to keep your mouth shut, not as an act of submission but as one of support. If you are always running your mouth its clear to everyone except you that the only purpose you really give a damn about is your own.
The leadership process requires your voice. Listen first to affirm others and to understand their motivations and perspective as best you can, then say what you think needs to be said, not what others tell you needs to be said. There is no love in withholding the truth as you know it from those that need to hear it; it is an utterly selfish and cowardly behavior.
Over time, sharpen your ability to use both your head and your heart to make your voice a consistent, credible, and purposeful instrument in the service or your organization. You will never make everyone happy, which will make it seem like you get it wrong as often as you get it right; however, that can never be an excuse to wear a mask of contented compliance.
Surrender your voice and you surrender your dignity. Surrender your dignity, and you will become all too comfortable participating in processes that force others to do the same.
Say what needs to be heard, when it needs to be heard, as best you can say it. Learn from your mistakes and strive to continually improve. Grow very comfortable with the fact that almost everything else is beyond your control.
What do you think? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below!