Ok, it is now time for me to tell you a little about my life. I grew up in a very small East Texas town. I went to a very small school. My grandparents lived on the farm with me, my mom, my dad, and my sister.

It is that sister that I would like to talk to you about. Now I know that she might read this, however, I am an honest person so I am ust going to throw it out there. To say that we did not get along would be an understatement. I once ran over her with a motorcycle. Don’t worry, she lived and has almost forgiven me.

Anyway, no matter what I thought of her, I would not allow anyone to pick on her. After all, she was my sister.

You might be asking yourself, what does this have to do with leadership. Well, I am glad you asked.

You see, a leader must stand up for their team. Along with providing vision, adaquate resources, and direction, a leader must provide protection.

When I look back on my life and think about the leaders that have influenced me the most, those that “had my back” are the ones that come to mind first. This is not to say that they did not provide correction, but when it came to defending me to those outside the team they “protected me”.

Great leaders understand their role of defending those on their team. When a leader stands up for a person on the team, it shows three key things.

First, it shows that the leader cares more for the team member than the results. If a leader is willing to throw someone under the bus, it usually means that the leader is more focused on their reputation or the end goal more than the people they lead.

Second, it builds a stronger team. When others on the team see that the leader is willing to “have a team membes back”, it builds confidence. It is built both within the team and also towards the leader.

Lastly, they are your team members. A leader is someone that helps others become more successful. If the leader does not protect the team member, they are missing out on the point of being a leader. Leaders make each team member better. Leaders protect those they lead.

This week’s experiment is simple; are you allowing others to pick on your team?

Oh yea, one more thing, if you have a sister be nice to her.