19 August 2008

Leadership and feelings of guilt

Is it useful for a leader to feel guilty over what one has done? Would it be useful for anyone to feel guilty about something done? I would say: NO. Guilt and feelings of guilt will not solve the problem, for which we create those feelings. The danger is even, that people will seek ways to escape the feelings. The best known actions to escape feelings of guilt are blaming others. "If they had done that, then I would have done the right thing." Another method of escape would be avoiding the situation, in which the problem was created or is being created. "Sorry, but do not have time now, to get busy with that." Or "What did you say, you want me to do that? Sorry, but they are much better at doing that, and you want the best result, not? Besides I do not have the time for it, I still need to do this and that?"

So guilt and feelings of guilt are for only a few persons useful motivators. Persons who do not get bogged down by guilt, but are motivated by it to go out and search for a solution.

The art of leadership in situations where guilt is created, is to show that guilt should not depress, but motivate. Which means that you can not take your responsibility by resigning, because that is admitting that you can not solve the problem you created. Leadership is shown by creating an atmosphere in which guilt does not lead to fear and flight, but bravery and a fighting spirit. Because in the end, it is not about the guilt when it comes to problems, but the solutions created.

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