What does forgiveness have to do with leadership?
I was coaching an executive leader last week. Upon his return from travel he discovered his team hadn’t accomplished the task the way he had suggested. They met the goal, but they did it a different way. He was “put out.” With a few minutes of coaching, he saw that his response had been exaggerated.
As we began to unravel it, he realized several key factors:
- His reaction had nothing to do with the current situation but an erroneous belief: “no one ever listens.”
- His attitude stomped out the motivation of his team and put a damper on any creativity and freedom to explore new ways of handling situations.
- He had forgotten he had told the team that he didn’t care how they did the task, it was only a suggestion. But when they did something else, it had mattered.
I challenged this leader with two questions: what could you gain if you forgave and what would you lose if you didn’t?
In this situation forgiveness played a part for both the executive and the team!
- It freed the executive of a past erroneous belief traced back to a difficult situation in college.
- Openly forgiving the team brought greater unity, motivation and drive among the group.
The team dynamics are different: trust, vulnerability, authentic caring and team camaraderie has produced greater results and created a new culture that is unstoppable. How? One executive humbled himself to see his need to forgive something in his past that affected his future and admit to his team his mistake. That one act of forgiveness made him a transparent leader that is reaping amazing results. Are you interested in having this kind of transformation? To coach with Rita click here!
What about you?
What areas in your life could be transformed by forgiveness?