Chapter 19

Are You Truly Free?

It might be useful to finish the section on taking responsibility with the idea of freedom. Freedom means choices. It is hard to feel free when there are obstacles in the way. One of the tasks you are charged with is removing obstacles from the paths of those you lead. Too often, your followers’ road to results is so full of roadblocks that they find themselves easily discouraged. They find it hard to take responsibility for their choices, mindsets, and results because there really are things getting in the way of their achievement. Your job as their leader is to identify, evaluate, and cope with the obstacles.

For purposes of this book, let’s call those obstacles pinch points. Think back to when you were a little kid—let’s say seven or eight years old. If your parents were like my parents, they would kick you out the front door after your homework was finished and tell you not to come in until the street lights came on or until you were summoned for dinner, whichever came first. When this happened to me, my buddies and I would inevitably get thirsty during a football game or tree climbing or kick the can. Being unwilling to waste a valuable minute of play, we would rush to the hose in the front yard to get a drink of water. If there were multiple kids waiting for a drink, then sometimes we would kink the hose so the water shut off and the person drinking had to let the next person go. That kink in the hose is an example of a pinch point. A pinch ...

Get Leadership Isn't For Cowards: How to Drive Performance by Challenging People and Confronting Problems now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.