#1 Confidence – Are you confident or arrogant? The difference is “I am the reason we succeed,” vs. “You all are the reason we succeed.” What’s the source of your confidence? You or the vision and plan? You or the people you lead? Arrogance shouts “I and me.” Confidence shouts “you and us.” Carry yourself with confidence and you can influence people. Lead with arrogance and you turn people off.
#2 Confrontation – Do you struggle confronting the people you lead with the brutal truth. The truth is, every leader has struggled with “we need to have a tough conversation.” Why? Because it gets personal. Keep the conversation about the vision, the plan and making the team better. Caring leaders confront. Pleasing people won’t get results. All it does is make the conversation easier. Coach, guide and direct. Learn to have the crucial conversations. Don’t avoid the confrontations. Embrace them and lead.
#3 Jealousy – Are you jealous of other leaders? Do you envy their success? Why not celebrate it? Don’t worry about who gets credit. Be thankful there is credit to get. Be thankful other leaders are leading. Jealousy leads to pride. Pride sneaks up on you. You validate yourself with pride. Jealousy feeds your pride. You are better. Just as good. Smarter. Does any of that matter? Does jealousy help you influence?
#4 Failure – Face it, you will fail if you are leading. It’s not if but when and how many times. Are you afraid to move forward because you fear failure? Does it hold you back? Why? Your risk is not growing or learning. You will make bad decisions. Admit them and move on. If you are not failing, you are not leading. Everything doesn’t always work out like you planned. The answer isn’t always in your favor. The project doesn’t always succeed. The idea doesn’t always work. Customers don’t always agree with your value proposition. Get back up. Dust yourself off. Try something else. Fail again.
#5 Insecurity – Do you think everyone is smarter? Do you feel inadequate and incompetent? Don’t. You’re not alone. Everyone has bitten off more than they can chew at various times. You don’t need to be insecure. Don’t worry about what others are saying. They are the few. Focus on the many. The people you lead. The few don’t represent everyone. They represent very few. Your identity is not in the few. It’s in your character, values and principles. It doesn’t matter if you lead 1 or a 100. You are smart enough. You are adequate because you choose to lead and make a difference. Don’t worry about the few.
You are not alone in these struggles. All leaders deal with one or all of them at different times. Embrace them. Be aware of them. Recognize when they show up.
They are opportunities.
Struggle a little every day. Get better. You are not alone. Ignore the few.
What other leadership struggles would you add to the list?