Why Do We Have To Make Others Wrong To Be Right?

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People sometimes have to make others wrong to be right. They do it not to be rude, not to be mean, not to be hateful but because they fear their own bad feelings.

Simply put, when we think we’re right we feel good, and when we’re wrong we feel bad.

But it’s not always about right or wrong.

How can we relate to others without making them, or ourselves, feel bad?

We must lead with an open and nonjudgmental heart. Wronging others is a way of protecting ourselves. Instead we must allow ourselves to feel what we feel without pushing it on. It means we must accept ourselves and others—even the parts we don’t like—with no judgment.

We must lead from a broader scope than the realities we perceive. When we’re not caught up in our own version of reality, we can see and hear and feel who others really are, and we can we better understand and accept other people’s opinions and ideas.

We must lead from the middle, not the front or back. Instead of classifying others as right or wrong, or focusing on what we see as right and wrong in ourselves, there’s a powerful middle way. When we stand in front or behind, we separate ourselves from those around us.

We must lead from security, even in insecure realms. Leading from the middle means keeping our hearts and minds open to the idea that when we label things right or wrong, we’re really trying to obtain our own security.

We must lead with no agenda and be comfortable with uncertainty. Can our minds and hearts be big enough to handle uncertainty about who may be right or wrong? Can we walk into a room with another person with no agenda or reason to make that person wrong or right?

We must lead with open spaces and not sharp corners of judgment. We must see, hear, and feel other people as they really are. It is powerful to lead in this way, because true communication can happen only when we open ourselves to learning and self-expression. There is nothing more beneficial in any situation than communication with understanding.

We must lead without blame, shame, or constraint. All three are techniques to solidify ourselves by casting something outside ourselves as wrong or out of control.

All of us are in relationships every day, and every day we face the risk that someone we encounter may trigger our unresolved issues.

To coexist and lead means extending compassion and understanding—a process that begins with all those unwanted parts of ourselves, all those imperfections that we don’t even want to look at.

Compassion isn’t some kind of self-improvement project or ideal that we are trying to live up to. It’s a daily discipline to make ourselves better and to understand and stay neutral when we are triggered so that we can better serve.

Lead From Within: True leadership is about communication, understanding, and acceptance. What we reject out there is what we reject in ourselves, and what we reject in ourselves is what we are going to reject in others.



N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

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Photo Credit: Getty Images

Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world.

Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.

  1. Roger Laidig

    24. Mar, 2015

    Excellent article Lolly. For one the ‘have to be right’ is simply a case of ego and is rarely endearing. Leading from the middle is a solid principle. At the same time isn’t it amazing how the extremist (either way) will make the leader in the middle as their target? It takes a person of high character to effectively do this.

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      24. Mar, 2015

      It is the leader in the middle that can stands the center of the heat and not get burnt.- That is powerful 
      It is the leader in the middle who is grounded in the center that see all sides and be impartial. That is success.
      It is the leader in the middle who will stand beside you through everything in good times and bad. That is leadership.

      Thanks Roger for your very thoughtful comment. Appreciate your wisdom.

      Reply to this comment
  2. Panteli Tritchew

    24. Mar, 2015

    We embrace them, boundaries.
    They protect us:
    Me…Not Me. Me…Other.
    We embrace them, binaries.
    They guide us:
    Right/Wrong. Love/Hate.
    Such neat divides.
    So much easier than the middle path.

    Absolutely wonderful post, Lolly.

    Reply to this comment
  3. ahmed

    24. Mar, 2015

    Thank you so match my dear … thank you.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Jaunot Baker

    24. Mar, 2015

    Good to know. I really love hearing what you have to say!

    Reply to this comment
  5. mannoy

    24. Mar, 2015

    Thanks for this article. it’s inspiring.

    Reply to this comment
  6. Bret Simmons

    24. Mar, 2015

    Great point, Lolly! Love the thought of compassion as a daily discipline. A few talks at TED2015 also addressed the importance of compassion. Thanks for sharing. Bret

    Reply to this comment
  7. Michelle Morris

    25. Mar, 2015

    As always Lolly, you are spot on. Thanks for giving all of us insight and ideas on how to be better leaders by accepting ourselves and others. Hugs to you!


    Reply to this comment
  8. biki hamza

    27. Mar, 2015

    Lolly Thank you for this great effort I find fun unspeakable in your essay, all wisdom. For a node certainty and the right and the curse of error on the one hand and the leader of a moderate solution in the middle on the other hand, Ali leader that violates the self and the self that always leads to selfishness in order to put the minds of in the brain and not vice versa, which will make there a vast area in the heart From order acceptance and communication with others, thank you on your heart Lolly the vast size of the vastness of the desert

    Reply to this comment
  9. Chery Gegelman

    28. Mar, 2015

    Very timely post Lolly!

    I was in a meeting this week that triggered issues I thought I had resolved.

    So I’ve been digging up the root of the issue and reminding myself of the importance of non-judgmental feedback.

    Thank you for the reminder!

    Reply to this comment
  10. John Paul

    29. Mar, 2015

    Dear Lolly,

    You are so right! 😉 Sorry, just kidding here. The middle way of openess and compassion can only happen when we sit on the one seat that is in our hearts.

    From there relationships and learning can grow. Thank you for helping my remember and to take that seat. Sometimes it is not easy when others hurt us or trigger unresolved issues in ourselves.

    However, if we can breathe, remember and connect with our own heart center we can achieve the openess to be free from such resistance.

    Thank you, big hugs!

    Reply to this comment
  11. Stefan Müller

    29. Mar, 2015

    Hi Lolly,

    nice article with wise insights, thank you! One picture i draw in my mind as a teamleader is ‘what would my team member will tell his family, parents or wife about his day. Did he make a mistake, achive a goal and what was my reaction as the leader to that?’. Through my leadership i want to make them proud and let them know i take care for him at work.

    Have a nice day!


    Reply to this comment
  12. Joseph Elmore, Jr.

    10. May, 2015

    Dear Lolly,
    Wonderful and powerful article! I absolutely love your thought process, your ideas your always inspiring tweets, blogs etc! You are an incredibly caring, loving, unique and refreshing!!
    Thanks for being so awesome! 🙂
    Your Twitter pal,
    Joseph. ~

    Reply to this comment
  13. Wilson Williams

    09. Jun, 2015

    Great article, thanks for the insight!

    Reply to this comment
  14. fares hamdan

    05. Oct, 2015

    really interesting ,

    Reply to this comment
  15. Tim Bryce

    13. Nov, 2015

    Your column reminds me of the famous management consultant W. Edwards Deming who pioneered quality control
    principles through statistical analysis in the early part of the 20th century. Unfortunately, his early
    work was unappreciated in America and, consequently, he applied his talents to help rebuild the industrial
    complex of postwar Japan. It was only late in life did he receive the recognition of his work in the United
    States (after Japan became an economic powerhouse). The Deming Award for quality is still coveted in Japan.

    To me personally, one of Deming’s biggest contributions was his philosophy of creating “Win/Win” situations
    in business. Instead of competition, he preached cooperation; instead of rugged individualism, he preached
    the need for teamwork. Deming observed people too often create “Win/Lose” situations, whereby one person
    can only win at the expense of the other party losing. Instead, he recommended the creation of “Win/Win” situations
    whereby both parties cooperate towards success. To illustrate, he would describe how “Nylon” was created by
    DuPont, which was actually based on a joint research project between offices in New York and London, hence the name “NYLON.”

    “The only good business relationship is where both parties benefit.” – Bryce’s Law

    Reply to this comment
  16. John Ruggles

    18. Dec, 2015

    I never really thought of the concept of leading from the middle. If we are leading with authenticity and transparency, the ego would more likely be kept in check making it more likely we’d find ourselves in that middle space. Great article.

    Reply to this comment
  17. Kelley

    20. Mar, 2016

    I love the idea of leading from the middle. My struggle is how to control myself when “those” buttons get pushed. I usually end up reacting and then reflecting back and feeling guilty for my reaction. When I am busy and multi tasking on several things and that button gets pushed, my reaction happens before I can mindfully think about it. A work in progress I guess!!

    Reply to this comment
  18. Badrul Othman

    20. Oct, 2016

    Does the leader always have to stand in front of other people and tell them what to do? Can share with me

    Reply to this comment
  19. Coach4aday

    25. Mar, 2020

    Well stated-especially this quote
    Compassion isn’t some kind of self-improvement project or ideal that we are trying to live up to. It’s a daily discipline to make ourselves better and to understand and stay neutral when we are triggered so that we can better serve.

    Reply to this comment

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