Two Traps Every Leader Faces #916 

by Sue Hawkes

Great leaders do hard things. They know pressure is the price of sitting at that table. 

When you hesitate and deliberate when it’s time for action, you put your team and your company at risk. That’s not to say leaders should act without thought and doing their due diligence. 

Where people issues are concerned, our hearts and emotions can sometimes cloud our ability to act. 

There are two traps most leaders fall into when it comes to challenges with their people. Once you know and it’s happening, you must interrupt any hesitation to act and do what’s right for the greater good of the company and every person on your team. 

What are the traps? 

The first trap is the heart trap. This is when you let a person perform poorly in their job over time because they have some circumstances or conditions happening and you can’t add to their problems. Now, I’m not suggesting you become heartless, quite the contrary. If you can look at the situation and how it’s impacting your team and the company (over a sustained period), you’ll realize you’re trading the pain on your team and the company for that one person. If you see no clear end to the circumstances, you must do what’s best for the greater good of all. Period. 

The second trap is the performance trap. This is when you let a high performing person who achieves a lot but behaves poorly toward people (inside and outside your walls), justifying their behavior with their performance and negating the impact on people or the collateral damage to your culture. Short term gains for long term pain is the trade you’re making. You must cut the cord and let this person go as well or you’ll lose your best people over time. They’re the ones feeling all the pain.  

When you feel trapped, you hesitate, react, and question yourself justifying inaction with stories. You’re not trapped, you’re focused on the wrong things. 

Focus on the greater good of your team and company and you’ll act swiftly and free everyone to grow.  

Sue HawkesTwo Traps Every Leader Faces #916