What is your (debt) ceiling?

You don’t have to be a news junkie to be aware of the debt ceiling crisis the United States went through in May. Again. Leaders in Washington, D.C. take us on a little adventure every few years…a game of chicken with global financial markets that will affect actual people from Wall Street to Main Street.

But don’t worry. This is not a commentary on government spending, the national debt or budget deficits. Let’s learn the lessons Washington always seems eager to teach us—what not to do in our own organizations.

Be relational, not transactional

It could be argued that we go through this crisis every few years because our leaders treat the problem like a game. Everything is either a win or a loss. Zero sum. Leadership in public office has become extraordinarily transactional.

Think of the challenges you have solved, and must solve, every day—personally and professionally. When you approach obstacles from a relational standpoint, your chances of overcoming them exponentially increase.


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