A leader and entrepreneur was discussing a dilemma with me that he recently faced. He summed up the reality of the situation like this: "It's like trying to push a dead bear up a tree, it was just not going to happen."
He continued, "instead of wasting effort on a hopeless cause, I am choosing to focus on areas that I can influence." This seasoned executive has gained the insight of knowing where and when to invest…
Many times, I see the possibility of what "could be," but the truth is that the stakeholders are not interested in that vision. Although I may "see" where we need to go, if I do not have those who are willing to follow, then I am wasting my time and leading no one.
While we as leaders need to be about increasing our influence, it is just as important for us to know when not to lead. Sometimes, stepping back is simply the right thing to do. The problem is that many of us driven, over-achieving leaders want to continue to push our agenda until we actually do more harm than good.
This wise leader knew when he needed to step back. His decision will build trust and confidence in his leadership in the long run. Take a moment to analyze your leadership. Are there areas that you are driving or pushing a bit too hard? Choose to stop trying to “push a dead bear up a tree,” and you will make a difference!