Good leadership can really take the wind out of your sails. Imagine this: you and several members of your team have spent hours pouring over the data of a proposal, double checking assumptions, comparing historical data, and you are presenting it to the rest of your team for approval and alignment. You’re sailing through the presentation and ask for approval.


But then, some questions pop up, and some discussion ensues until a team member has a hissy fit. They insinuate that decisions are made irrationally and there’s not enough space for other team members to be heard. Insert brick wall here.


What’s good leadership in this situation?


What’s the problem?


Even though the hissy fit may not have been the best way of delivering the message, the message still needs to be heard. The answer is to look for the truthfulness of the message. Even though there may be insinuations, or even accusations, focus on the truth of the matter. In this case, had there been enough time for the team to really consider the topic at hand and come to alignment?


As a leader, it’s your job to determine and propose a path forward. The trick is to get everyone on board and in agreement, or at least aligned to proceed. For team alignment, you must provide the time and space for discussion, questions, probing, assessment and further innovation. Yes it takes time, but in the end you’ll go faster having taken the time to get your team behind you, rather than dragging their heels because they don’t agree with the direction or tactics.


Good leadership might look like:


  1. Are you making your proposal for a path forward?
  2. Is further conversation encouraged around the proposed path, and innovative modifications allowed?
  3. Are you creating goals to create the milestones needed to achieve the desired objectives?
  4. Are you helping your team prioritize these goals, and readjusting as needed in light of feedback and input from your team?
  5. Have you included the right people in your communications relating to the goals, changes and path forward?


It won’t always be perfect, but covering these steps will go a long way to keep your team moving forward cohesively.


Oh, yeah. And have a conversation with your team member who thinks that temper tantrums are a productive way to send a message. You might want to hire him a leadership coach!