Author of "This Is Rage" and "Endless Encores"

Posts made in October, 2017

Standing Your Ground

By on Oct 2, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

How do you know when it’s time to stand firm on a point and when it’s time to cave in and go with the flow? The answer is obvious: You never know, not for sure. The hardest calls are the ones you make alone. You listen intently, gather data, think about the situation, seek counsel from close advisors, but in the end if you decide to take a stand, consider yourself alone. Values, ethics, morals — all of them seem clear on paper when you are reading about someone else’s lapse. That’s called history. You read it in hindsight with reflection. You wonder in amazement at how something so rotten could have been advanced. Looking forward is another problem entirely. If you think making a decision on principle is easy you probably haven’t yet made a hard one. If you have put yourself on the line for a heartfelt conviction, you know that courage is not something usually acknowledged in the present tense. It is awarded upon completion of a task, win or lose, based on context. In the present you might be called something else entirely: Difficult. Difficult people tend to get a bad rap, and being difficult just to be difficult is not likely to lead you to the corner office. Some of the questions we face in staring down adversity include: Whether we have thoroughly thought through an objection to the more genially accepted plan we oppose. Whether dissension without triumph creates any intrinsic value of its own. Whether the cost of standing in isolation is worth it. Let’s think about those three filters as we ponder a few hypothetical but easily applicable real-world examples of standing your ground. Someone Getting Fired Unjustly. Suppose a colleague of yours, Charlie, has somehow become the fall-person for a project that has spiraled wildly off schedule and budget. The project team has found an easy out because your department VP is already known to dislike Charlie, so all the group has to do is subtly throw Charlie under the bus and the clock resets to zero. You don’t particularly like Charlie, but you know he is no more innocent or guilty than everyone else on the wayward team. When you...

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