I live by the brilliant philosophy of New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority, "if you see something, say something."
The late Allen Kay created this saying after 9/11. He said, "Some things you just can't stop. But if it is stoppable, and that thought makes someone think twice and say something that stops something, that's its reason for being."
During your career, there are bound to be moments when deciding whether to speak up or not could have a lot of consequences. Effectively "saying something" about what you see could catapult your career forward. But saying the wrong thing could slide you way back.
These are the scenarios I call leadership moments. They can be make-it-or-break-it situations of your professional growth, but they have nothing to do with your title.
If you head into these moments without understanding the critical elements of leadership, you can mishandle the situation and do more harm than good. It may even feel safer to say nothing to avoid getting it wrong. You may have the desire to remove yourself from the situation altogether.
But, if you are sailing on a ship that is 1 degree off course and don't say something, you'll be 10,000 miles off by the time you're supposed to reach your destination.
Ultimately, these leadership moments are opportunities. This is a chance to create an organization you are proud to be a part of. To engage meaningfully in your work. To show your team who you are and share great ideas. To stop toxic behavior in its tracks.
These don't always appear as pivotal situations. Sometimes they are subtle and more delicate situations. For example, you may recognize your leadership moment in a team meeting when you want to provide feedback to a colleague.
When you can clearly address these situations, large or small, with self-awareness and emotional intelligence, and in the context of your organization's overall goals, you're ready to embrace that leadership moment.
Training on these fundamentals is critical to be an effective and tactful leader, but using those skills takes courage. Schedule a call with me to discuss how we can better prepare your team for these leadership moments and set your organization on the course for rewarding growth.