This is a pill that may be easier to swallow with something sweet, so if you didn't get to digest the post last week, please take a moment to enjoy that first. This will be here when you get back.
As you read the thoughts below, I want to encourage you with the reminder that your leader believes in you. But truth is this has to be a two way relationship. In order for this partnership to work, we must also believe in them.
Depending on the duration and dynamic of your relationship, the daily interaction you have with your leader, and the culture in which you are working, this may be either an easy or challenging truth to live by. Regardless of the circumstances, to best serve our leader (and the organization/business), it is of utmost importance that we believe in them.
As we handle the daily responsibilities of moving decisions forward, it can be tempting to think that we know the best way or have the wisest opinion. Unfortunately, (maybe it's only me) I have come to learn (in sometimes the hard way) that this is not usually the case. So here are some thoughts about BELIEVING IN YOUR LEADER (especially if you disagree with their decision):
Can I trust my boss?- This deserves a moment of our reflection. To best serve our leader, we must be able to trust that the decisions they make are moral, legal and ethical. If not, we owe it to ourselves, our leadership, and the company to have a conversation with them about our concerns. Otherwise, it may be time to come to terms with the fact that, though we may differ in opinion and preference, God has placed THEM in the leadership position, and they deserve our respect and trust in their decisions (even if we don't always agree).
We must realize that though we have been entrusted to see the underbelly of the whale*, we are not always privy to a view of the entire ocean. It can be easy to criticize a choice when we don't get to see the whole picture. If we can trust our leader to make informed and wise decisions, we may need to understand that our dissent is often in part that we don't know the whole context.
More than another opinion, our leader needs someone who is committed to praying for them. When we struggle to understand the why of the decision, our first response should be to PRAY. Pray for our leaders, for the decision, and a favorable outcome.
WHEN NEEDED, appeal humbly. I have found this to be rare, but necessary every once in a while. If we bring the concern to prayer, sometimes the Holy Spirit will lead us to speak up. When this is from God and not ourselves, it will always be done with a humble heart. Approach the conversation privately, share facts not opinions, objectively not emotionally, about the decision. Then LEAVE IT THERE. Whether they change their mind or the decision remains the same, don't take it personally.
Own the decision- As a parent, I am learning the value in a united front. When my husband and I have to make a decision, we do our best to talk through it privately. Any disagreements can be hashed out behind closed doors, but once the decision is made, we own it together. This is equally important in the workplace. When in front of others, your opinion is not only unnecessary, but will also create division, gossip, and discord. Watch out for comments like "HE decided to do this" or "I don't agree with it, but SHE'S the boss". If we need to discuss the decision or understand the why, ask privately, but then we accept the decision as our own: "WE believe it was best to..."
Our boss is responsible for the decisions and direction of the organization, and our role is to support and encourage them in that. So we pray for our leader daily, that God would give them wisdom, understanding, and knowledge to lead, and that God would give us the humility, grace, and strength to hold up their arms in the battle. More than any other team member, our leaders need to know that we have their back and they can count on us.
They believe in you. Believe in them.
Your Turn: Which can be more difficult for you-- remembering that they believe in you, or being steadfast in your belief in them?