Doing the difficult stuff…It may not be easy but try to make sure its right.



“It’s not hard to do the right thing; in fact it’s easy. What’s hard is knowing what the right thing to do is. Once you know that, and believe it, doing the right thing is easy.”

Ben Kingsley in the Confession

Stephen Covey described “personality-based leaders,” who were preoccupied with “looking good” (in hopes of being liked) instead of “doing good.” True leaders, he described as “principle-based leaders.” These leaders struggled to “know the right thing to do,” but then had the courage and integrity to “do the right thing”—even if it was unpopular at the time.
“The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.” -Ralph Nader

Leaders face this dilemma frequently, because in the imperfect real world, there are a lot of not-so-good choices, and few really good, clear and right ones. But leaders must decide. That is their job. Leaders don’t always get it right. Leadership seems to be on all  of our minds at the moment. The Election and current political situation seems to have heightened this.

True leaders will not do the “wrong thing” just to be liked. Leaders must make the best available, “right” decision. Flip/flopping for approval is not leadership sticking by your principles and holding fast is. Being able to admit you got it wrong is leadership,  blaming others when things go wrong is not.

Having listened to the rather wonderful @DavidMcQueen at Northern Rocks I was emboldened again to do the right thing. He was spot on the need for bravery in Leadership and also I’m a sucker for a cracking acronym






Leadership should be B.R.A.V.E. Great leadership advice.

index 1


As for everyone else, they have a decision about which kind of leader they want to follow, to vote for and elect, to support. Do you want the vain-glorious leader who always looks good, but cleverly avoids the tough decisions, (or make the wrong ones)? Or would you rather have a leader who struggles mightily evaluating what the “right thing to do” is, and then does it, no matter how difficult, how painful or how unpopular it might be.

“Leadership is not about titles, positions, or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another.” –John C. Maxwell


I’ve seen and worked with and for both kinds. I can pick them out to this day—good and bad. I know which kind I want to follow and be. How about you?

“Principle-centered leadership” by Stephen Covey published 1989



1 thought on “Doing the difficult stuff…It may not be easy but try to make sure its right.

  1. This is so pertinent Simon – we all have a choice, always. 30+ years in education, never been a HT or a deputy but worked with (& under!) plenty. The vain glorious are easy to spot and have eaten away my self confidence from time-to-time; for example by querying my ability when questioning something I’m unsure about. I guess we all have a thin veneer of self esteem. I am thinking now of my first HT (1979!) who once replied, when I returned from an inspiring course and said I wasn’t sure how I’d find the time to make a suggested change, “If you think it’s worth doing you’ll find the time to do it”. Powerful handing over of responsibility. I have often been found muttering this to myself ever since.
    Thank you Simon, and KBO !


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