6 hard facts of leadership
Many people consider leadership a glorified career that brings a wealth of advantages. That may or may not be the case, but some harsh facts must be faced at every level of leadership. If you're an established leader, you undoubtedly know what I'm talking about, but if you're an aspiring leader, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Being a leader means being continuously judged
People are highly critical of their bosses. Every choice you make is scrutinised, from promotions to task allocations and even workplace décor. You must learn not to take things personally, which is not always easy.
Making people unhappy is part of being a leader
There will always be people who reject your views and values, and some of them may strongly oppose you or be unhappy with your decisions. You can't please everyone or make everybody like you. You can only accomplish your best by being honest and transparent with yourself and others.
Being aware of your influence is part of being a leader
You must pay close attention to what you say as a leader. Whether you're speaking to a vast gathering or small group, or cracking a joke in the corridor, your words count. People will be listening closely to what you say and how you say it.
Leadership involves standing up for others
People come to you with various problems and difficulties, and it's your responsibility to be strong and watch out for them. It takes a tremendous amount of persistence to ensure that your people feel supported and cared for.
Leadership involves failing publicly
Everyone makes mistakes and falls short at times. However, when a leader fails, it is in front of the whole team. They are all aware of what has happened, and there is nowhere to hide.
Leadership involves making sacrifices
At its essence, leadership is about self-sacrifice. Authentic leadership is other-centred – it is about investing in others to help them be successful, even if it means sacrificing your own best interest. You must set aside your personal goals and priorities, and strive for the betterment of your people.
TAKEAWAY: Being a leader is not for the fainthearted. You are continuously watched, assessed and held to a different standard than the rest of the team. Strong leaders constantly figure out ways to make things work, and this sets them apart.