[00:00:00] Hey there. This is Julie B and you’re listening to They Don’t Teach This In Business School. Thanks for being here with me today. Whenever I talk to another leader or just anybody who has a decision to make that impacts several people, I always guide them to make the decision that is the best for the most people.
This is a really good framework for anybody who wants to be a better leader because it requires two things that many just, okay. Leaders don’t have vulnerability and compassion. It requires compassion because you must consider how a decision will impact those around you. It requires vulnerability because the best decision that’s the best for the most people may not be the decision that’s the best for you as an individual.
It’s a simple concept that in theory, most people would say, well, yeah, of course that’s how decisions should be made. But when it comes down to it, there’s a small hiccup. It’s the best for the most. Not what’s [00:01:00] best for everyone. In almost every hard decision I’ve made as a leader, there’s usually one party that does not benefit from that decision.
There’s often a party that loses something. Their position becomes less than ideal based on a decision I had to make. However, I always try to make the decision that’s going to benefit the most people. It’s rarely a win-win. If I get a win tie, it’s a good day. Why is this so hard then? It requires a level of selflessness that most of us just don’t have.
It’s natural to put your own wellbeing before others to want to make decisions that are a bit selfish and in your best interest in many individual decisions we make throughout the day, that’s actually fine. But as leaders, we’re not only making decisions for ourselves, we’re making decisions for those we lead.
We have to put away the what’s best for me, and instead focus on what’s best for we to be the kind of leaders [00:02:00] others want to follow to be a leader with influence and one people trust. One example of how this has shown up for me is with people. I have fired several people in my career who made my work a lot easier, but they weren’t a culture fit for the organization.
In that example, I knew firing the individual would make work a lot harder for me personally. I. But it would make work a lot better for everyone else on the team. A poor culture fit leads to a toxic workplace, cutting the bad culture fit off before it led to that. Toxicity was a personal sacrifice because the person was great at their job and made my life easier.
So much easier. But they were bringing down the rest of the team. That was a win for the company, A win for everyone else on the team, and a tie at best for me. And an example that did create a win for me and the long-term success of the company, but was a loss for a few people on [00:03:00] the team. I decided to close a media platform so.
My podcast producer lost revenue. A few of my team members weren’t happy because that media platform was a passion project for them. But overall, the best decision for the most people was to cut that platform because it wasn’t going to be profitable. And honestly, I didn’t love the content I was putting out.
My team needs me to be enthusiastic about the content I produce. Without my enthusiasm behind this content, it would not be successful. We wouldn’t sell sponsorships, and a lot of the revenue producing activities wouldn’t happen. So this was truly a best decision for the most people. One that benefited me as well, but the others on the team did not agree with it, and I still had to make that decision.
A final example that applies to a lot of small business owners is putting a hold on their own paycheck. When money gets tight in the company, they will not pay themselves in order to make [00:04:00] sure their people continue to get a paycheck. This is usually short term. There’s usually a light at the end of the tunnel because if you’re running a business and you can’t get paid, then you probably don’t have a sustainable business that will go on for very long.
But during the pandemic or past economic downturns, I’ve known many business owners, including yours truly, who stopped their own paychecks to make sure their employees were paid. That’s definitely a win for the employee and a loss for the business owner and leader, but it’s often the best decision for the most people.
If you want to be the type of leader who does have influence, one who people trust and respect, you must be willing to cut yourself first in order to protect your people. So the next time you’re in a position to make a decision that impacts the people you lead, choose the option that’s the best for the most.
Even if that means you’re on the losing end of that decision. I’m Julie [00:05:00] B and they don’t teach this in business school.