The Bad Fight?

May 2014

The Bad Fight?
My clients sometimes help me write The Edge. They, nor I may not know it at the time, but fortunately it happens. I was talking with a very gifted and experienced executive last week and a line of thinking arose for me as a result of conferring with her. As is often the case, this line of thinking resurfaced in a few other conversations as well (without doubt, this is very much a “perk” of my profession). The phrase, “Fight the good fight” came to my attention. Over the years, you likely have heard this well-utilized phrase too.

There are good fights to fight as a leader and executive. And if you believe there are good fights, then logically speaking, it follows that there must also be “bad fights”. It is my humble and respectful observation that much team and organizational productivity/opportunity is lost as many get caught up or duped into fighting the “bad fight”.

Bad Fights. As you look at your team and across your organization, can you see the waste, in fighting “the bad fight”? How would you define the bad fight? It’s more valuable that you define what qualifies as bad fighting in your world but since I brought this up, let me throw some things out. The “bad fight” is:

In-fighting and low to no collaboration
Conflict that is avoided, eventually exploding when boiling point is reached
Allowing others to wrestle with no-to-low information when more is needed
Personal agendas taking precedence over fundamental business priorities
Petty jealousies
Grappling with legislative or market realities that aren’t going away (anytime soon)
Good Fights. The “good fight” is about fighting for the priorities and initiatives that truly move you, your team and the organization forward. Like it or not, leadership is a fight at times and the extraordinary leader will fight both against things as well as for things. The “good fight” is:

Surfacing & addressing a conflict as a doorway to further understanding and achievement
Squaring-off with a competitor in the marketplace and beating their pants off
Allowing others to wrestle with no-to-low information when more is needed
Committing to executive & leadership development amidst urgencies and time demands
Ridding the culture of toxic, derailing behavior with zero-tolerance resolve
Changing or refining processes to increase efficiency
Bringing increasing levels of freedom to your talent base that facilitates excellence
My gosh, do we really have the resources and time these days to be caught up in the bad fight? The real mission is to get freer and lead others to that freedom. The July Edge will begin to speak of this foundational notion of executive and leader freedom.


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