Among the greatest challenges faced by people trying to lead, choosing between being right and being effective is among the most vexing. As people ascend the hierarchy, they often are rewarded for their point of view and ideas. The more reinforcement, the deeper grows the commitment to their perspective. As we have learned over and over in leadership work, people won’t engage in that which they don’t co-create. Therefore, if you lead with your ideas all the time, there’s little room for others to contribute and/or experience ownership of the work at hand. The “good idea” seduction is powerful and nearly always is unseen by the victim of it. Sadly, it is very noticeable to everyone around you.

To the “leader” this is experienced as “tapping into my experience” or “when we were at ADP…” or worse, it is “just being responsible to make sure that senior management gets what it’s looking for….” My grandmother described these kinds as “self-made men and ardent admirers of their creator.”

Just rent this idea (no need to buy it yet) even if you have a really good idea, unless you want to supervise your folks constantly to ensure they are compliant with your idea, it will be better if all parties felt some sense of authorship. Remember problem-solving is always temporary. It is an action taken in response to a set of circumstances. If all you do is solve that problem, as soon as the world changes (and it will) you have to solve it again. A more powerful path forward is to build capacity (the skills and willingness) to adapt so your organization, team, community, or church can thrive in the dynamic times in which we find ourselves.

This what we mean by choosing to be effective over being right. I have a terrible relationship with being right. It has cost me dearly in my life. I wish better for you.

Good luck.