The Dark Side

By

A CTO once told me
that he had asked his CEO
“How many times have you wanted to fire me?”
to which the CEO replied,
“7.”

The CTO said his empathy realized instantly
as he knew the CEO was honest.
How did the CTO know?
Because he himself could count 5 times
when he thought he’d be fired.

Sincere honesty
can inspire the realization of empathy
in the prepared mind.

Unfortunately,
so much moral correctness
is published in leadership books,
that sincere honesty often seems unacceptable.

If you have employees,
there may have been times
when you experienced a deeply-rooted,
ferocious,
yet silent anger
accompanying a sudden urge
to fire them.

This is normal.

If you were surprised by your dark side,
this is expected.

The dark side is dark,
not because it’s “bad” or “wrong,”
but because we couldn’t see it.

When our dark side becomes visible,
it’s tempting to pretend we didn’t see it,
to leave it in darkness,
which can make things worse,
until we learn the choice
to respect our dark side
without admiration.