Watch Your Back

My husband, Thaddeus, and I are traveling and as we typically do….if we have time, we will grab local transit to go explore an area. We were waiting for a trolley and he sits down on the bench to wait. To my surprise, I look around and see this image. I snapped this picture of him and it was so profound to see this cougar glaring down on him.

I was already thinking of a message to share regarding dealing with people who may present themselves differently depending on the situation. I had thought of sharing a view of the “smiling face” that may represent something other than friendship. But now I had a visual to go with my thought of being careful to always watch your back.

Being authentic is one of my core values….one of those guiding principles that I choose to follow as well as expect in others. Being real, honest, and trustworthy go hand- in – hand with this principle.

As a leader it is so important to convey and model this type behavior because to do anything else breeds distrust and deceit . Yet, sometimes, no matter how much we model authenticity, there are times when you are faced with people who may not necessarily tell the truth. Sometimes it may come from fear of retribution…..and other times it is simply a matter of covering,  protecting, and sugar-coating.

Regardless, it makes for awkward encounters and challenged communications.

  1. My advice is as follows:
    Assume the best intentions of all. I would like to believe that most people want to be genuine and authentic, and when they are not
  2. it comes from a place of fear and intimidation which can be managed.
  3. Stand your ground and remain true to your own principles of honesty and authenticity.
    Never reciprocate or retaliate
  4. Call it out…confront the situation in a manner that can be heard, respected, and appreciated, coming from a place of genuine care and concern.
  5. Always remember to watch your back just in case there is a surprise attack.

Personnel matters and relationships seem to occupy a considerable amount of time if you are serving in a leadership role. It can be frustrating but ultimately it is an issue of facilitating personal growth and development of those who are the expected contributors on your team. It comes with the expectations for leadership especially if you are there to serve.