The ancient Greek author Aesop once said, “It is easy to be brave from a distance.” Have you ever had that thought? It would sometimes seem that everybody knows what should be done by you in some miraculous way that apparently has not occurred to you? That is, everyone who is not directly involved in your particular issue. If you could just have a dollar for every person who looks at what you do and thinks, “Well, why doesn’t he just…” or “I can’t believe she won’t….”
As a leader, this is something about human nature that you will have to accept…to a point. Coach Bobby Bowden once said that, if he made his decisions based on what fans told him he should do, he would hope that he would be fired from football. Just because there are lots of folks who hold different opinions than you doesn’t mean you have to adapt to theirs.
At the same time, leaders do need to be open to considering varying perspectives. The strongest leaders look for as many options as possible, even amongst their detractors. Leaders also have to remember that it is much easier to have a point of view than it is to either commit to an action or live with its consequences. Ultimately, the leader has to decide, not just from the various viewpoints of his or her constituents but from what he or she believes is the right decision. Listen to everything, consider what is relevant, and then make your decision and move on. Those who are waiting will be happy for it and those that are watching will move on to second guess somebody else anyway.