As a leader, sometimes, you are bound to talk a lot. Many things will make you talk; the good, the bad, and the ugly. The things that make you fume most are the ugly. When you fume, your anger rages to the high heavens. And if there’s anything a leader has in abundance, it is anger. Some people tell you never to get angry. Those who say it are the most angry people on earth because they pretend that they’re never angry. They bottle up a lot of things until one day, they explode. If they don’t explode, they harbor loads of rubbish in their minds until they begin to hate, unknown to the recipients of their hatred. Hatred can be murderous sometimes. I don’t think y0u would like to go that way!
The best way to live is to exhale. When you exhale, some people will consider you to be childish, but by exhaling, you let go. When you let go, you have peace of mind, and with peace of mind, you do a lot for yourself and your world. Speak your mind when necessary. It is necessary when it is based on principles, positive ideology, respect for humanity, truth, honesty and integrity.
Recently, as we interviewed some university students for scholarship awards, I asked one of them, “Do you ever get angry?” He said no. Then I said to him, “That’s a lie. Everyone gets angry; it depends on what you’re angry for, how you channel your anger, and also, how you manage it.”
I respect anger because it is the ability to wake you up from your sliding position, and give you a balance. It is also what makes people never take undue advantage of you. In controlled anger, you air your views, opinions and frustrations. I believe in being open. I believe in speaking out. I believe in controlled explosion when it is needful and when it produces positive results!
Notwithstanding, as a leader, regardless of how frustrated, upset or scared you are, there are certain statements you must never make. Why shouldn’t you make those statements? You shouldn’t because some statements reinforce your beliefs and determine the outcome of what goes on around you. If you make negative statements, it is obvious that you’ll get negative results, whether you bargained for it or not. According to Joanna, one of my friends, “anyone who makes a negative statement inadvertently bargained for it,” and I completely agree with her. So, what are the statements you mustn’t make as a leader?
1. I am confused: everyone actually gets confused at one point or the other, but when you lead people, you are responsible for the weak, the moderately strong and the strong. Some people appear strong by physique and verbal utterances, but when the robber hits the road, they’re the first to crumble. Some people can’t accommodate negative statements because it easily makes them panic. As a leader, you are seen to be superhuman by the weak, and you are considered to be someone who can deal with eventualities, but when before debacles, you turn around to admit confusion, you further confuse and kill the spirit of those behind you. Even if you’re confused, don’t admit it; just look for an answer. Somehow, answers come to those who lead.
2. It is impossible: some things can be truly impossible, or appear impossible, but you don’t say it is impossible when you haven’t given it a go. Those you lead watch how much belief you have within, and the ones you express. Your possibility belief rubs on everyone around you, and your doubts also create negative energy around the led. You shut down every propensity to drive towards achieving a goal when you say to your subordinates, “it is impossible.” Someone may have an answer in your team, but the moment you, who is the head says there isn’t an answer, most people under you may decide to shut their mouths up. Furthermore, possibility mentality actually makes possibility a reality. If the head believes, the body will believe and things will happen; if the head disbelieves, the body will disbelieve and misbehave until no favorable result is achieved.
3. I am fed up: the question is, “fed up of what?” You will definitely be fed up somewhere, but ‘fed up’ means giving up. If you’re fed up, do you expect those behind you to be hungry to go? Being fed up is an admission of surrender, cluelessness, and lack of innovation. If you have the drive to keep propelling beyond your frustrations, together with your team, you will emerge.
4. I am lost: if you are lost, everyone around you is. If you are lost, you have just misled those with you, and those who believe in you. It isn’t monstrosity to miss your way, but the submission rather than the character to look for an urgent solution out of the predicament is sign of weakness. The head that is the weak end will make the body wobble. Masaru Emoto in Secrete Life of Water said, “If you feel lost, disappointed, hesitant, or weak, return to yourself, to who you are, here and now and when you get there, you will discover yourself, like a lotus flower in full bloom, even in a muddy pond, beautiful and strong.” Rather than settle on your ‘lost,’ return to yourself.
5. We can’t make it: you can’t say to people, “run with me,” and then in the middle of the track, turn round and say to them, “we can’t make it.” If you can’t make it, you shouldn’t have wasted people’s time. You’re unable to make it because of poor planning and preparation, poor vision, or the inability to fight the odds of life. Even in the remotest conditions, people with the right attitudes succeed.
6. We won’t get there: what you are allusively saying is that you all will end up where you currently stand, as the case may be. Except one of you, with determination, disrespects your conclusion, you may all in real sense end up where you are. With a negative conclusion, you release a depressing atmosphere that works against your efforts to bring a purposeful project or pursuit to a designed destination.
7. It is unachievable: it isn’t forlorn if you break a mega target into bits and pieces so that as you take it one by one, you’ll look back and be happy with yourself. Redefining a target is what you should do, rather than killing the momentum of your team. Unachievable targets are those not cracked with the dynamite of common sense. When a task is big, crush it to pieces, and each piece will become a piecemeal.