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Last week I talked about giving your folks a great start in your organization. So what about the other side – when people leave? I know, I know … sometimes you just want to part ways and minimize the pain.

But the truth is that there are still implications even after they’re gone. Perhaps they’ll refer your next great customer or employee. They’ll probably be talking about their experience to friends and associates.

So it’s in your best interest to have a good breakup. People do move on, after all, and it doesn’t always mean you’re a bad person.

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You’re the leader, so your job is to tell other people what to do. As if it ever worked that way.

No, you want to lead by inspiration. By example.

Which means that YOU are the first one that needs to change. YOU need to reflect the direction of your organization, and how you want your people to make decisions.

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You’re the boss, so you have all the answers. Right? Yeah, not so much.

I sure try to show confidence in my leadership roles, but that only works up to a point. Inside, I feel a variety of emotions, both positive and negative. Occasionally even cluelessness.

You know what? The people I’m with know that too. They know that we’re all just doing the best we can – hopefully succeeding more than failing.

So if we’re all just making it up as we go along, why do we seek out confidence? Because it’s about our desire for control and stability. If I don’t feel in control, then I’ll seek out others who look like they are. Even though I know that’s partially an illusion.

How should leaders deal with this? The key is honesty.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could get to the point where you’re honest with your people? Where you could say that you’re proceeding on the basis of partial data and educated guesses?

Yes, that opens up vulnerability. But it also creates trust that you’re telling people the real story, not hiding information.

What’s the next step you want to take on showing that kind of honesty?

What’s the motivation behind your marketing efforts?

This is a real struggle for many businesses right now, because many existing efforts don’t seem to be working. They’re advertising like crazy, but sales have dried up because customers are extraordinarily cautious.

And the strong “buy my stuff!!!” messages can seem overbearing and insensitive.

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At some point, you reach the end of your knowledge and expertise. You’re feeling exposed and vulnerable.

Especially if you feel you have to be the expert in the room.

The simplest, most powerful way out of this problem is just to … admit it. Tell the others that you’re at the end of what you know and need help.

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MANY CLIENTS I WORK WITH experience a sense of isolation.

It’s not that they don’t have lots of people around them, but that they’re stuck with the idea that they can’t open up to their friends, employees, and partners.  Sometimes that’s why they hire a coach.

We always find that there are more resources at hand, though.  It’s really more about getting hung up on the idea that you need to have all the answers, and look professional.

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