Turn the Ripples into Waves!

decision making ethical influence ethicalleadership influence leadership leadershipdevelopment moral authority ripple effect significance Oct 29, 2020

In closing the last post, I shared a brief warning about the weight of the responsibility that comes with an expanded reach. Since you’ve chosen to read this, I’m going to assume you’re willing to carry that load called leadership… Well done!

So how do we turn those initial ripples into significant waves that make a positive impact on people we may never meet rather than creating an undertow that sucks some of them under and scares everyone else away? That certainly ties back to choosing the harder right over the easier wrong, but making those kinds of decisions are just a starting point!

While choosing that harder right over the easier wrong presents some challenges, it’s really the simplest part of the process - especially once you’ve determined where you’re just not willing to compromise! The tough part often comes when it’s time to back those decisions with action on a daily basis. But even that becomes more routine as you’ve determined what standard you’re going to uphold…

In many cases, one of the primary challenges we face in clearing these hurdles involves looking beyond what Maslow describes at the base of his hierarchy of needs; our basic necessities like food, water, safety, etc. When we’re struggling to provide for ourselves and our families, it can be incredibly tough to make decisions based on what’s best for the people we serve rather than what presents the smoothest path for us to get what we need. Once we’ve accepted leadership responsibility, we’ve given up much of the opportunity to put ourselves first! Leading a team isn’t about having a bunch of people to do things for us; it’s about being willing to do things for that bunch of people; and we’ll circle back to that shortly…

First though, understand that making the decision to stand by those harder rights on a daily basis by backing them with action becomes amazingly simple over time - and it really does boil down to standing firm on the principles we believe in. From there, identifying who we need to serve through those decisions, and why that’s important to us, helps strengthen those harder right decisions.

As we accept the burdens that come with leadership, some of the most critical decisions we’ll make will involve immediate discomfort for us in order to truly serve and support those on our teams. I’ve seen so many great examples of this that it’s really difficult to point out just one, but that’s what I’ll do in the next message. For now though, I’ll close by emphasizing that these are the decisions that begin to turn those ripples of positive impact into waves that reach so much farther than we can often imagine!