The Roulette Leadership Principle says, in the day to day operations, good news goes around and down. Bad news goes around and up. If you violate this principle, you are gambling with the momentum of the organization you work for or volunteer in.
To better understand this principle, think about a family with small kids. In this family, the parents are struggling to make their monthly car payment. In dealing with this challenge, what is the most responsible way for the parents to deal with this challenge? Do they discuss it between themselves? Do they bring the kids in the room and share this problem with the kids? If you share this with the kids, what good does it do? Nothing. The impact of this information on the kids can only add unneeded stress in their lives. The parents need to discuss this. They need to solve the problem and move forward.
So it is with your leadership. Good news, goes around your team and down into those you lead. Bad news, needs to be addressed with your team and go up until someone can solve the problem.
You are right, those you lead are not children but hopefully you get the analogy. And yes, when the organization is facing a huge crisis, an organizational game changer, everyone should be brought in to address the situation with clarity.
In your day to day operations, you should be following this principle. If you don’t, you are gambling with the lose of momentum. Why? Because you will never fully understand how negative thoughts and attitudes will ripple through your organization. In general, people’s natural default is: ‘negative and fear.’ Like fire in a dry wheat field, negative comments will feed the fear in people and spread. And spread quickly!
When negativity and fear is present in the minds and hearts of people, they are distracted. They struggle to make everything they do, great. They struggle to make decisive decisions. They struggle to have energy when they come to work. That all adds up to lost momentum.
To avoid all of this, great leaders within the organization, at all levels, work hard to make sure, good news goes around and down and bad news goes around and up. As a leader, when you follow this principle, you are helping those who follow you. You are removing negativity and giving them space to focus on what they can do to be great.
Are you the person that has a leader who is comfortable complaining and being critical? What if the owner of the company violates this principle? There are no simple, easy, one sentence answers to this challenge. However, we can say: if you decide to stay in your role, understand, you will need the strength to be the bigger person. If your boss violates this principle, it doesn’t mean you have to. And, in the process, that will take energy from you.
So the next time, in the normal day to day operations, when information comes across your email or desk, what will you do with it?