A Leadership Road Less Traveled

Those who have seen me speak know I love most anything from Victor Frankl. He is the Austrian psychotherapist who survived internment at the Auschwitz death camp during WWII and coined the phrase, "he who has a why to live for, can endure almost any how." I noticed this video clip of him speaking to students back in 1972 about our basic perspective of the condition of human kind. Thought provoking, especially in these times when it is tempting to vilify people who don't live up to our expectations.From a leadership angle (okay, you had to know this was coming!!), I generally observe two reactions. Either the leader is trying to play Messiah and "save" the employee, repeatedly allowing poor performance to continue at the expense of the organization and the high performers around them picking up the load. Or, the leader runs a hiring and firing mill, churning people through the organization like a laundromat. The less traveled road for leadership is between these two. To have relentless hope - a core belief in employees that they can succeed, while maintaining a high accountability for the employee to make that choice. A high accountability that doesn't make the rest of the organization pay for the employee that cannot choose; make the tough decisions and choose actions to improve. A high accountability that may mean they must be removed from the organization. To have each foot firmly planted in both of these perspectives is the leaders greatest opportunity. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fD1512_XJEw