“If you speak the truth, have a foot in the stirrup.” Turkish Proverb
There is often a hesitation among leaders to say what needs to be said, or do what needs to be done, because of the prediction that people will be upset. If things aren’t working, or processes (or people) need to be changed, we often avoid it as long as possible out of consideration for the feelings of those impacted. At least that’s what we tell ourselves.
I would argue that often the issue is less about making others unhappy and more about our courage as a leader to do the right thing. Courage in this sense is the willingness to allow your decisions and your actions to continue to reflect your convictions, even when they are not popular or are not held as conventional wisdom. As a leader, you not only have to have the courage to step out and lead, but you have to be willing to accept that not everybody will agree with the direction that you’re taking. Listen to the input, consider it in light of your goals, and then take action and move on.