Home Book Review Why Leaders Must Recognize The FENCE, But Avoid Sitting On It

Why Leaders Must Recognize The FENCE, But Avoid Sitting On It


Perhaps the most essential truth of being a leader is, you have to stand up, and take a stand, even when it may not be popular, and others avoid doing so! How can you be leading if others are setting the course, rather than you, making key, sane, necessary, relevant, priorities – based decisions? As a young man, I remember my father, referring to others, as fence straddlers, because they consistently avoided taking a stand, either because of indecision, or fear of offending someone. Being a leader, means you must prioritize doing the right thing, rather than merely the popular or expedient one! In this article, we will briefly, using the mnemonic approach, consider why it’s important for leaders, to have both ability to recognize the so – called, FENCE, while avoiding the tendency to sit on it. Will you be the example others point and aspire to, or merely another wannabe?

1. Face facts; finesse; finest: True leadership means you must be willing to open your eyes, and face facts, while consistently pursuing the finest approaches, solutions, and plans. Sometimes, doing so, may be straight – forward, while at others, it is incumbent upon a leader, to develop his abilities, and use a degree of finesse, in order to achieve, what needs to get done!

2. Energy; excellence: While fence – straddlers behave as they do, often, to avoid confrontation or unpopularity, it takes as much, or more energy, to do so, as to actually behave as a real leader should! Use your energy in a focused, directed manner, to seek solutions, based on priorities and goals! Shouldn’t you seek excellence, if you are going to hold this type of position?

3. Needs; nuances: The reality is, your actions will be somewhat meaningful and/ or irrelevant, unless you focus on needs, priorities, planning and quality action, rather than merely getting along! While doing so, at times, is somewhat straight – forward, at other times, may be more complex/ complicated, and require understanding and addressing nuances!

4. Character; clarity; create: How someone proceeds, if often a measure of his character, and if a leader merely tries to avoid making decisions, he probably is unfit for leadership! One must proceed with a high degree of insight and clarity, and his top priority, should be to create a better, more relevant, sustainable organization!

5. Empathy; earn; example: Leading must never be about you, your popularity, or remaining within the restrictions of your comfort zone! Rather. one must listen far more than he speaks, in order to better understand, the needs, priorities, concerns and perceptions, of those you serve! Isn’t that the type of empathy, constituents deserve from their leader? Holding some position does not mean you will automatically be respected, but, rather, it is incumbent upon you, to earn that respect! Will you be the type of individual, others can proudly point to, as the example to emulate?

Today, perhaps more than ever, organizations need leadership, which visualizes how things are, were, and should be, and takes steps, in a timely manner, to achieve optimum results! One is not a leader, if he straddles the FENCE!

By Richard Brody

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