¿Quieres ser un gran líder? Empiece hoy mismo diciendo estas 5 palabras

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Es el día siguiente al de las elecciones. Al igual que usted, tengo fuertes sentimientos sobre el resultado inconcluso y preocupaciones sobre hacia dónde vamos desde aquí.

Pero aquí está la dura verdad: si estás en una posición de liderazgo, diriges una empresa o tienes un equipo pidiendo consejo, hoy se te pide que hagas algo muy difícil hoy.

Se le pide que deje de lado sus sentimientos personales.

Se le pide que ofrezca palabras de orientación y consuelo.

Se le pedirá que brinde orientación a las personas que podrían estar encantadas con los resultados, a otras que pueden ser abandonadas y a otras cuyo miedo puede estar por las nubes.

Si lo piensas bien, el lugar de trabajo es uno de los pocos lugares en Estados Unidos donde la gente se mezcla más o menos voluntariamente con personas con las que no están de acuerdo políticamente.

Como resultado, es probable que se enfrente a un desafío de liderazgo para todas las edades. ¿Qué dices en tal situación?

Escribo un boletín diario por correo electrónico llamado Understandably.com. Con la ayuda de mis lectores, de los cuales decenas respondieron a mi solicitud de ayuda, creo que hemos encontrado al menos parte de la respuesta.

Hagámoslo. Podemos reducirlo a solo cinco palabras: «Es mejor que la alternativa».

Bueno, la «alternativa» aquí no es «el otro habría ganado en su lugar». (Es casi seguro que parte de su equipo no lo crea de todos modos).

En cambio, «mejor que la alternativa» se refiere al resultado de nuestro sistema político defectuoso, uno conocido por ser etiquetado como «la peor forma de gobierno que cualquier otra persona probada».

A continuación se muestra un ejemplo de la alternativa. El fin de semana pasado, el gobierno de Costa de Marfil celebró elecciones. El presidente Alassane Ouattara buscaba un tercer mandato.

Los opositores dijeron que esto no estaba permitido constitucionalmente y boicotearon la votación.

Al menos Según los informes, una docena de personas murieron en las elecciones en sí, junto con otras 20 que murieron en el período previo al día de las elecciones.

Parece posible que todavía haya un derramamiento de sangre en este momento increíblemente controvertido. Me rompe el corazón decir esto sobre el país en el que nací y que amo.

Pero al menos puedo decir que todavía es impactante imaginar que puede suceder bajo nuestro sistema.

«Mejor que una reacción violenta y fatal» es, por supuesto, un listón bajo. Eso es por diseño. Y para algunas personas cuerdas, eso se siente como la vida o la muerte.

Cuando les pregunté a mis lectores por sus pensamientos en Comprensible, iban desde un lector que expresó un gran temor al «socialismo» si el presidente Trump no era reelegido (su palabra, no la mía) hasta un lector que es negro y dijo que quería a Biden porque Estados Unidos se ha vuelto «mezquino, cruel e injusto» y «quiero recuperar mi vida».

Como ser humano, puede leer una reacción u otra y tener dificultades para comprenderlas. Sin embargo, este es el momento de dejar de lado esa reacción.

Ya no se trata de discutir por quién debería votar la gente si alguna vez fuera apropiado con su equipo en el trabajo. En cambio, se trata de mostrar liderazgo ayudando a las personas de su equipo a avanzar en esta temporada política increíblemente controvertida, paso a paso, día a día.

Recuerde, como estadounidenses no tenemos que estar de acuerdo.

En su mayor parte, ni siquiera tenemos que agradarnos o querer pasar mucho tiempo juntos. (Es un país bastante grande; todos podemos encontrar a nuestra gente).

Pero tenemos que encontrar la forma de vivir juntos. Y aquí es donde entran en juego ejecutivos como usted.

«Es mejor que la alternativa» es un tipo de liderazgo complicado.

No es particularmente satisfactorio. Se niega rotundamente a decirle a la gente cosas pollianas que no creerán, especialmente cuando los recuerdos y las emociones son tan crudos.

Nos aferramos a lo que podemos decir auténticamente y en lo que realmente podemos creer.

Empiece con eso y estará en camino hacia un momento de liderazgo verdaderamente inolvidable.

Las opiniones expresadas por los columnistas de Inc.com aquí son las suyas, no las de Inc.com.

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You'll be asked to set aside your personal feelings.

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You'll be asked to offer words of leadership and comfort.

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You'll be asked to offer guidance to people who might be ecstatic about the results, to  others who might be forlorn, and to others whose anxiety might be through the roof.

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When you think of it, the workplace is one of the few places left in America where people mix, more or less willingly, with people they disagree with, politically.

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As a result, you'll likely be facing a leadership challenge for the ages. What do you say in this kind of situation?

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I write a daily email newsletter called Understandably.com, and with the help of my readers, dozens of whom responded to my request for help, I believe we've come up with at least part of the answer.

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Let's make it simple. We can boil it down to just five words: "It's better than the alternative."

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Now, the "alternative" here isn't, "the other guy would have won, instead." (Part of your team almost certainly doesn't believe that, anyway.) 

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Instead, "better than the alternative" refers to the outcome of our flawed political system -- one famously described as "the worst form of government, except for all the others that have been tried."

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Here's an example of what the alternative could be. This past weekend, the government of Ivory Coast held an election. President Alassane Ouattara was seeking a third term.

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Opponents said that's not allowed under the constitution, and they boycotted the voting. 

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At least  a dozen people were killed during the election itself, according to reports, along with 20 others who died in the run-up to voting day.

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That's an alternative.

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It seems possible there might still be some bloodshed over this incredibly contentious time. It breaks my heart to say that about the country in which I was born and that I love.

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But at least I can say that it's still shocking to imagine it can happen under our system.

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Of course, "better than a violent, deadly reaction" is a low bar. That's intentional. And, for some rational people, this does feel like life and death. 

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When I asked my readers at Understandably for their thoughts, they ranged from a reader who expressed abject fear of "socialism" if President Trump were not reelected (her word, not mine), to a reader who is Black and who said she wants Biden because America has become "mean, cruel, and unjust," and "I want my life back."

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As a human being, you might read one of those reactions or the other and have a hard time understanding it. But, this is the time when you need to put that reaction aside. 

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It's no longer about arguing who people should vote for, if there were ever appropriate with your team at work. Instead, it's about showing leadership by helping the people on your team move forward from this incredibly contentious political season, inch by inch, day by day by day.

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Remember this: As Americans, we don't need to agree with each other.

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For the most part, we don't even have to like each other, or particularly want to spend a lot of time with one another. (It's a pretty big country; we can all find our people.)

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But we do need to find a way to live with one another. And that's where leaders like you come in.

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"It's better than the alternative" is a messy kind of leadership.

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It's not especially satisfying. It steadfastly refuses to tell people Pollyannish things they won't believe, especially when memories and emotions are so raw. 

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We stick to what we can say authentically, and what we can truly believe in.

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Start with that, and you'll be on the path to a truly memorable leadership moment.

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