“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” (Dr. Seuss)
No truer statement may ever have been uttered. It’s amazing how much you learn after you realize that you don’t have to please everyone.
If you want to please everyone then go sell ice cream.
If you desire to be a true leader or are currently in a leadership position then you will not please everyone. You will have to make difficult decisions.
Too many leaders end up being like tumbleweeds or kites – whichever way the wind blows is the way that they go. They are scared to lose a job or that people won’t like them. They make decisions through fear or without a firm grasp of their core values. If you desire to be a true leader, you have to understand that you can’t please everyone and will have to make difficult decisions.
You must instead focus on doing what is right. What is the mission of your organization or business? As long as it is not unethical or in direct conflict with your core values, then that should be your compass. Do whatever you can to accomplish the mission of your organization. You will need to be persistent in doing good and making tough decisions.
Sometimes we are faced with multiple choices are that good. It is not always good versus bad when it comes to decision making. Consider the story that John C. Maxwell tells about a lighthouse keeper . . .
A lighthouse keeper who worked on a rocky stretch of coastline received his new supply of oil once a month to keep the light burning. Not being far from shore, he had frequent guest. One night a woman from the village begged some oil to keep her family warm. Another time, a father asked for some to use in his lamp. Another needed some to lubricate a wheel. Since all the requests seemed legitimate, the lighthouse keeper tried to please everyone and grant the requests of all. Toward the end of the month he noticed the supply of oil was very low. Soon it was gone and the beacon went out. That night several ships were wrecked and lives were lost. When the authorities investigated, the man was very repentant. To his excuses and pleading their reply was, “You were given for one purpose—to keep that light burning!”