When you're a leader, your job is (in part) to deal with the issues that everyone who follows you is worried about. If you know there's an elephant in the room, be the first one to speak up about it.
Picture: Daniel Ramirez/Flickr
As business blog Entrepreneur explains, being the first one to deal with the major issues on everyone's mind that no one wants to talk about is a key trait of a leader. Not only does it require stepping up when others are nervous, it also entails coming up with a plan when the people around you aren't sure what to do:
I'm often asked how a leader can focus on bad news and tough issues while creating a positive culture of reward and recognition. The answer involves sequence. The tough issues and bad news should always come first. Trying to deal with positive things when those elephants in the room still exist usually disrupts focus anyway. The team knows there's something that needs to be discussed but everyone is afraid to put it on the table. After dealing with those elephants, organisations can and should celebrate the wins and good news.
The word "first" also has a double meaning in this context. Not only should you aim to be the first one to speak up, but deal with those problems before you deal with the other ones. This can help improve morale and set the stage for more positive leadership later.
Great CEOs Deal With 'Elephants' First [Entrepreneur]