As a leader, which do you choose: accountability or kindness? Which of the two is more important and which will best get you the results you desire?

Unfortunately, too many leaders face this decision on a regular basis. They tell themselves they must choose one or the other.

The reality is a leader can do both. In fact, a leader should do both.

Holding people accountable does not mean being unkind just as being kind does not mean you don’t hold people accountable. The two are completely unrelated. A leader can take any action with kindness or without it independent of what the action is.

For example, I can separate employment with someone by yelling at them or shaming them or making them feel invaluable. I can argue my point, not allow them to share their opinions, and I can act as if the individual has never ever done anything to benefit the organization. I can then top it off by having them escorted off the premises by another employee. 

Or, I can separate employment by honestly sharing my stance and expressing why the termination must take place. I can listen to them and recognize their feelings and point of view. I can acknowledge and thank them for the good work they have done even though it didn’t work out. I can also offer guidance and advice on future employment opportunities, allow them the time they need to gather their belongings, and I can sincerely wish them the best.

Notice the action didn’t change here, however how I handled the action did.

A leader doesn’t need to choose between accountability or kindness, they can do both. In fact, the best leaders hold others accountable and are kind. They have learned to uphold high standards in a kind way. 

So, which will you choose? 

Decide now that in any situation or circumstance you face this week, you will choose both accountability and kindness.

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