Ugh… that tastes bitter. Even worse, that bitter taste can sometimes linger, and it begins to be all we think about; talk about distracting. It will probably hinder us from tasting the good of other things also.

But… what does bitter look like? Good question. Better yet, what does bitter leadership look like, and why is it such a thing? First, what is bitterness? A quick lookup gives this definition – having a sharp, pungent taste or smell, not sweet. Hello… not sweet, pungent… Talk about a bad quality of leadership… How about this statement, “I have a bitter taste in my mouth about…” Yep, been there, said that. Pungent… doesn’t even sound like a good word to say.

I would say, most of the time, our bitterness is always going to be with something or someone else. It mostly comes with disappointments which leads to frustrations, not only with yourself but others. Bitterness in your life affects so many things; confidence, mood, performance, likeability, respect… most of all, love. It deprives the sweetness of what leadership should be.

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One area I see bitterness is in leaders who only think their way is “the only way.” They lead with blinders that prevent them from seeing anything anyone else has to say. By default, others begin to question, respect is lost, and their leadership becomes a facade, seen right through. I guess, in the end, bitterness comes and goes, but the effects can last much longer. A full circle runs through all people, especially when we do not get our way.

So… how can we fight bitterness? I am not sure there is an absolute answer. However, I have seen enough leaders with bitterness that I have some ideas on how I do not want to lead. First, be open to ideas and not have a closed-mind set. Second, be transparent with your leadership. If we can incorporate both of these concepts in our leadership, we will lead better, and others will not have to be bitter because you are.

Go figure and it sounds easy. However, when our EGO gets in the way, bitterness is going to taste bad. Let’s lead with a sweetness.

Go be a great educator and leader today… Our future needs it…

Remember… Think Leadership and Be For Others…

©2021 J Clay Norton

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