Question: As the Senate’s “Gang of Six” struggle to come to agreement on a bipartisan budget plan, they are under intense social pressure from their caucus colleagues to abandon the effort and stick with the party line. In a clubby place like the Senate, social ostracism can be a real concern. From your experience, what role does social pressure on leaders play in their decision-making and how should leaders deal with it?
For today's leaders, navigating social pressures is just as challenging in business as it is in politics. Good leaders understand the delicate balance of handling pressure from colleagues while weighing on their own how their decisions affect stakeholders. Strategic decisions that are best for employees, shareholders, customers or the long-term success of an organization are worth temporary criticism if they produce long-term benefits.
In situations of immense social pressure, leaders must step-back, gain clarity of focus and stay true to their underlying values. Those that maintain the status quo are rarely applauded for their leadership; great leaders are recognized for their courage and conviction in taking a stand--even when it means challenging their peers.
Susan Peters | Apr 26, 2011 12:54 PM
SuperFan badge holders consistently post smart, timely comments about Washington area sports and teams.
Culture Connoisseur Badge
Culture Connoisseurs consistently offer thought-provoking, timely comments on the arts, lifestyle and entertainment.
Fact Checker Badge
Fact Checkers contribute questions, information and facts to The Fact Checker.
Washingtologists consistently post thought-provoking, timely comments on events, communities, and trends in the Washington area.
Post Writer Badge
This commenter is a Washington Post editor, reporter or producer.
Post Forum Badge
Post Forum members consistently offer thought-provoking, timely comments on politics, national and international affairs.
Weather Watcher Badge
Weather Watchers consistently offer thought-provoking, timely comments on climates and forecasts.
World Watcher Badge
World Watchers consistently offer thought-provoking, timely comments on international affairs.
Post Contributor Badge
This commenter is a Washington Post contributor. Post contributors aren’t staff, but may write articles or columns. In some cases, contributors are sources or experts quoted in a story.
Washington Post reporters or editors recommend this comment or reader post.
You must be logged in to report a comment.
You must be logged in to recommend a comment.
Comments our editors find particularly useful or relevant are displayed in Top Comments, as are comments by users with these badges: . Replies to those posts appear here, as well as posts by staff writers.
All comments are posted in the All Comments tab.
To pause and restart automatic updates, click "Live" or "Paused". If paused, you'll be notified of the number of additional comments that have come in.
More ways to get us