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Simon says, “Be flexible and willing to compromise.”

That Simon, do you suppose he has finally gone over the edge? It sounds like he is about a quart shy of the add mark or perhaps a half a bubble off plumb. Alas, he may have finally overdosed on PPS.

The next thing you know, he will be advising everyone to take turns, to remember something is better than nothing, you have to give a little to get a little. If he gets really carried away, you may even hear Nice Guy Simon saying things about not cutting off your nose to spite your face and it is better to lose the battle than to lose the war.

Thank you Simon. Have you ever played American football? I suspect you have not. On fourth down with 4 yards to go, it does not cut it to be flexible and compromise even if the other team does agree to give you three yards on a friendly basis, with no conflict or confrontation. It will not even help if they agree the next time you have the ball, you will only need nine yards for your initial first down. Okay, they are very flexible and ready to compromise. If you will just give them the ball now, you can have a free point added to your score.

You acknowledge the utility of flexibility and compromise. You share, take turns, and are skilled at give-and-take. You do not expect to get your way every time, you are a team player; but you and your team are going to pass on the offers and go for it. If you get the four yards, that is great. If not, that is the way the game goes now and then. Either way, you will play, no flexibility, no compromise.

So, what is Simon’s real message? It is wisdom in two parts. “Do not deal with people in win/lose terms, if it can be avoided.”

Now, there is a message worth taking to heart. It is also a talent master leaders have carefully perfected. They know how to manage, how to be flexible, when to compromise, when to avoid getting into win/lose transactions. They have also developed the skills needed to avoid the rock’s colliding with the hard place.

Successful leaders know equally well when it is time to shift to part two. They know when to move the hard place directly into the path of the rock. It would be convenient to tell you Simon has a well-tested guide to direct you to have the battle here but not there, to hang tough over this but not over that. Sorry, nothing so simple this time.

Each leader has to carefully pick and choose, being very cautious and thoughtful about the choices. Simon cannot say what or when; but he does council you to make the stand where and when it has to be made. Do so, fully understanding the consequences and being fully prepared to accept them, win or lose. Leaders have to do what leaders have to do; and leaders have to accept the consequences of their actions, no exceptions, no excuses.

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