A couple of days ago I created and then uploaded a video on a recent news topic that's garnered lots of attention and controversy. As much as I've been trying to stay away from the news, I decided to add my thoughts to it by using my version of logic and ethics in making a determination in the issue.

Maia C via Compfight

That's nothing new for me though. Before that video I had another video on another recent news topic that's created a lot of controversy in the country. Once again my take was based on the principles of leadership and self respect more than anything else. After all, for both of these stories, I have no personal interest in them, but every once in awhile something happens that gives some of us the opportunity to comment on it because everyone already knows the issue and at the same time use it as a teachable moment. I'm not putting a link to either video here; if you're interested they'll be easy to find on YouTube.

The thing about leadership is that it's not only about learning how to lead people when it's convenient for you. Many times leaders have to lead when times are tough, and sometimes it involves having opinions on things that are controversial that are much closer than the two topics I've dealt with. For instance, you might have to have an opinion on layoffs, employee productivity, monetary issues, other leaders, etc. Leaders don't always get a free pass on not stepping up to the plate; sometimes you have to lay your reputation on the line and pick a side; scary isn't it?

The problem with having an opinion is that everyone isn't always going to agree with you. Heck, sometimes they may never agree with you. Truthfully, there's nothing wrong with that; what could be wrong is your reasoning for your position, at least how you present it. If your reasoning for hiring someone is because they look good in what they wore to the interview you invite ridicule. If your reasoning for letting someone go is because you didn't hire them thus they were never someone you wanted in the first place, you look petty.

Reasoned opinions have a basis in fact, even if other people disagree with it. A reasoned opinion that some find skeptical is saying that you don't have a problem with the burning of the flag because the majority of flags aren't made in your country to begin with. A reasoned opinion is that dropping certain types of services makes sense because you're losing money providing them, or deciding to keep certain services because it's the ethical thing to do for your community. At some point you might be forced to change, but at least your original opinion had some foundation to it. Anyone who faults you for that is just being petty.

True leadership takes courage. Courage doesn't mean going to look for trouble. It does mean sometimes taking a stand and giving an opinion, no matter who likes it. You've got to be true to yourself first, even if it's being forced on you. However, if you don't put your head in the sand and instead look at the facts and make an informed decision, even if people don't like what you have to say they'll respect you for saying it.