This Business Insider article is well worth your time. It’s a peek at what it looks like to watch someone’s grasp of what it means to be a leader evolve in real time.
The article is about Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky and how the company’s first real crisis brought his understanding of leadership to a new level. The who article is great but this quote really stood out for me:
“I finally had this really dark moment and I got to the point where I wouldn’t say I stopped caring, but my priorities completely changed and I basically said I should stop managing for the outcome and just manage to the principle.”
To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, if you manage for the outcome and disregard the principle, you’re likely to wind up with neither a great outcome nor any discernible principles. On the other hand, if you try to do the right thing, you’ve got a better shot at achieving a great outcome and affirming the integrity of your business. And—to take it a half-step further—regardless of what the short term ramifications might seem to be, the best long term results for your organization will usually be attained by just doing the right thing for your customer.