As a leader you have been faced with this duality and you know it when you see it. The decision! Usually, one would think from the outside things are black or white. You just make the call based on the information at hand. In reality this is rarely true that things are clear. Things are usually gray and the fog is thick. Nearly, everyone around you has an opinion or an idea as to what you ought to decide. It is here when the duality dawns on you: “Wow, I could do what is popular and in my gut not the best for the institution or I could do what I think is right for the institution, but unpopular.”
Leaders face this everyday. The best do what is right for the institution and unpopular. The worst leaders do what is popular and bad for the institution – all the time. The wise leader varies and pivots in this duality. Picking when to decide the popular only when knowing the consequences will not harm the institution. If you never do what is popular you eventually sink you own ship, but if you always do what is popular you are in the end a terrible leader with no internal guide or integrity. You cannot do only what people want you to do and I see this mistake being made most often by new leaders. Getting this right is one of the great challenges of leadership. Welcome to the duality. I have found that a voice or a coach outside out the entire dynamic can help to make things clear to leaders. The wise seek trusted disinterested external counsel.