Discover the Rare Leader.

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On your first visit, begin with "What is the Rare Leader".
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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Taking One For The Team

Have you ever heard this acclamation?  
Someone feels so self involved that they need to declare that their action is necessarily not their first choice, but is for the benefit of others.  Why not add “praise me” to the end of the statement?  After all, isn’t that what you’re asking?  
You’ve let people know you’re taking action for their benefit but not yours, and it is outside of your character to do so.  Is this also declaring that what you’re doing is the “right thing”, but not “your thing”?  
Why can’t your actions simply be the “right thing”.  Does it matter who it is benefitting?  And, if you need to declare this as an unusual act, do you really need to ask for praise?  Are you that type of leader that craves feedback at this level?  If the answer is yes, you may want to sign out of this blog.  The challenges for you to become a Rare Leader™ will become too great over the next 9 months of study in our series together.  
Or, does this make you feel uncomfortable that you may have declared “taking one for the Team” in the past, and you now realize that it may not have been a moment of your greatest declaration of leadership?  Then I would invite you to continue to work with us.  
I find many “would be leaders” I have worked with to seriously stumble at this stage of discovering their gaps of developing as a Rare Leader™.  We can continue to develop your Visionary skills.  We can learn together to find a comfort level with being Decisive.  We can study the elements of better Delegation and encourage you to share your high Drive for Achievement.  
However, if you really have no core of Character that speaks to Integrity, then we have a point of disconnect.  
You are not alone.  We have all been challenged at some point in our lives to do the right thing, because we know its the right thing.  But life is full of decisions, and you must make one.  Will it be the right decision?
I was faced with such a challenge several years ago.  I was climbing the ladder of personal success in my career.  I had risen above comments from doubters about how a “school teachers kid with a music degree” could make it in a tough competitive business organization.  But I did succeed.  
Looking back I am confident I possessed many of the behaviors of the Rare Leader™ at this young age.  At my professional crossroads a question of Integrity was put before me.  
I worked for an organization that used the quote from their founder to guide everything they did.  He stated “customers will forgive you for errors of judgment, but they won’t forgive you for errors of motive, and we must have honesty in our business dealings and integrity in everything we do.”  
I was asked to take career ending action against several members of my Team.  It was clear this demand from my Leader had questionable motives and clearly was not a shining moment of honesty.  As the deadline for my response came due, my answer was clear as I submitted my resignation.  I could have made a bold statement that I took one for the team as I carried my personal things out the door, but I didn’t.  I learned that day that doing the right thing is simply the right thing to do.
Lets agree today, to stop taking one for the Team.   Next the right thing, because it is the right thing.  You will be taking a bold step on your way to becoming a Rare Leader™.
1. Can you name a time you felt you “took one for the Team”?
    If yes, was it really just the “right thing to do”?
    2. Will you continue to follow me, and study the next 9 behaviors of the Rare Leader™?

    3. Send me your stories of Integrity of Character.  If you want to remain anonymous from the blog readers, send it to me at
      If you want to learn more about the Rare Leader™ in you, 
      or if you are interested in retaining Steve as your Executive Coach, 
      Contact Steve Riege via: twitter, or his website.


      1. Steve, definitely the symptoms of a victim vs a leader.

        I have witnessed many times a manager taking responsibility for the lack of results of one of their subordinates, when in fact they don't consider themselves at fault. They place the full blame on the associate, but feel it the right thing to shoulder the blame with the superiors. They fail to understand their accountability in ensuring their followers effectively reach their goals.

      2. Bill, Thank you for your great insights here.

        Taking one for the team infers individuality rather than Teamwork. I like your reference to accountability.

        Integrity of Character, and Accountability go hand in hand.