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Have you ever had something in your teeth during a meeting where you were smiling the whole time and no one told you?  I have. And it’s quite embarrassing.  I find there are two camps of people. Those that motion to you so you can do something about it and those that just sit quietly because they don’t want to embarrass you. Both are kind gestures with two very different outcomes. This is an interesting scenario for me because it’s a lot like leadership. If a leader doesn’t give you the hard facts to let you know something is off then how will you know and therefore, improve? If a leader observes you going off track time and time again and doesn’t point it out to you  because they are trying to be kind- you may not know you are going in the wrong direction and will never arrive. There are so many stories about how terrible a leader is because they call a spade a spade when they see it. They are willing to risk not being liked- because they are trying to help. This often is perceived wrong… or dare I say…unkind? Delivery is everything and it’s in the HOW this is done that matters- no one wants to give or receive bad news- but it is an unavoidable action that needs to happen for improvement and resolution. So what to do? Next time someone tells you have something is in your teeth at a meeting- don’t get mad at them. Thank them. It’s not easy to tell people things that are embarrassing or things they really don’t want to hear.  And sitting idly by saying nothing at all may feel like being a friend… But it certainly isn’t being a leader.