Edge—The Courage To See Reality And Act On It
Leaders who have edge have an unflinching readiness to face reality and the courage to act. Edge decisions may not be pleasant or popular in the short term. But a great leader has the willingness to do things that will make the organization better, even though they may be scary or painful. And great leaders are unwilling to let the difficulty of the decision cloud what they know is the right thing to do.
Great leaders have edge in all their decisions. They make tough decisions about how to invest time, money, and resources. Leaders demonstrate it when taking on new projects or discarding old ones in the face of resistance. Decisions to invest in a new business are often scary because they mean entering uncharted territory. Decisions to leave a business are often painful because people frequently lose their jobs. The common denominator is that they both require courage.
Leaders also make tough decisions about dealing with individuals. Edge requires giving people honest feedback—to help them improve. And it means confronting people who perform well but are abusive to others.
As unpleasant as these edge-ful decisions can be, people want their leaders to be decisive. Leaders can win others over by acting with a constant compass, teaching them why they reached their decisions and helping them develop their own edge.
The best way to teach edge is to put people in progressively more difficult situations where they have to make decisions, and then to give them feedback and support. Good leaders make it a policy that mistakes are coaching opportunities rather than causes for punishment.
Leaders can win others over by acting with a constant compass, teaching them why they reached their decisions and helping them develop their own edge.