Alexis Ohanian’s Resignation from Reddit may be the Kind of Leadership the World Needs

Here’s what ordinary people could study from his decision.

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When Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian resigned from the company’s board the other day, he generared immediate headlines. However in doing this, he also created a legacy for himself as a leader. In Ohanian’s actual words:

“I really believe resignation can in fact be an act of leadership from people in power at this time.

I’ve resigned as an associate of the Reddit board, I’ve urged them to fill my seat with a black candidate, and I’ll use future gains on my Reddit stock to serve the black community, chiefly to curb racial hate, and I’m you start with a pledge of $1M to Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp.”

Thousands of individuals across Twitter, Instagram and even Reddit have applauded the move. And just why not? On the top, it addresses the concerns organized by numerous African American writers urging white individuals who actually value diversity showing it by doing a lot more than including trending hashtags on the social media posts. Tiffany Ashley Bell, founder of The Human Utility, wrote articles on Medium where she asked business leaders,“What exactly are you ready to do differently now? Do you want to speak to your people ― or might it be business as usual at the next all-hands? Company leaders should do more than the smallest amount of performative allyship with hashtags and changing social media profile photos. Your folks are watching and taking cues from you.”

Ohanian, who’s married to tennis icon Serena Williams, did do more. In the eyes of several, it was this is of leading by example.

Related: 9 Powerful Methods to Lead by Example

Not everyone sees it that way, though, and you don’t need to look far in the comments to find those individuals. They accuse Ohanian of pandering or using social unrest as a smokescreen for distancing himself from the controversial platform he helped found.

His announcement could become a landmark moment in tech, inspiring a domino aftereffect of attitude and policy shifts in regards to to diversity. Or, to the skeptics’ point, it might generate no meaningful difference and instead represent an enormous missed opportunity to hang in there and bring about differ from the within to a company that desperately needs it.

Leadership, both in and out of business, can be an art, not really a science. It has more related to feelings than it can formulas. It needs acute situational awareness and empathy. We’re inundated with articles that reveal otherwise (heck, I’m probably even guilty of writing some myself), but there is absolutely no amount of advice or training which will magically make sure you make the proper decisions.

Related: 22 Qualities THAT PRODUCE an excellent Leader

Even though you take action that feels intuitively, objectively right, others will question it. Alternatively, it may be years prior to the extent of your mistakes becomes clear. Regardless of what, you’ll face disapproval every step of just how. This is undoubtedly a thing that Ohanian knows all too well. And it’s really why, amid current events, Ohanian could have avoided any debate over whether he was right or wrong simply by doing nothing. Instead, he made a choice he felt was right, realizing that it could generate some amount of disagreement and dislike. For the reason that sense, I’d argue that he’s more of a leader in resignation than he ever was as a board person in Reddit. Now, he’s fulfilled a dependence on all true leaders: doing something when there is nothing a choice.

Whether in the home, at work or in public areas, that’s an element of leadership we’re able to all de