A few things about leadership no one likes to talk about
Leadership — it’s not a job, it’s a lifestyle. How cool it sounds to be a leader — right? You get to earn a lot. People tend to look at you like a successful person. Everyone looks up to you for advice and making some great decisions.
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But, that’s not all. Like they say everything comes at it’s price. So does leadership. As lucrative and as ravishing as it might sound, the fact of the matter is that there is another face of leadership that no one likes to talk about.
Handling the responsibility of leading a team for the past few years now, I have seen it all. It’s been a joy ride, but there are so many experiences and feelings that no leader wants to talk about. And, in this post I am going to talk about them and pour my heart out.
It’s lonely up there
If you have handled a leadership role in your career, at some point, and have gone through the feeling of loneliness during that phase, then you can easily connect to what I’m trying to say here.
Yes, it is always lonely at the top. While some of it might come because of the intimidation that the titles like Boss, Manager etc., bring a lot. A lot of it comes because of the fact that you have to be the bearer of bad news, more often than not and also come up with the implementation of changes, which many a time the employees resist.
The good part is that things are changing. With people embracing a culture, where job titles are no longer a popular choice. What this has done is that it has eliminated the intimidation factor to quite a large extent.
A leader has to know everything
“I don’t know” — no one expects a leader to utter these words. The worse part is that there is a horde of leaders who believe in proving such people right, by trying to come up with an answer for anything and everything, without paying heed to the fact that they could be wrong as well.
No, you don’t have to know everything to be a great leader. What you need to know is how to find a way to know something or how to make things work, when they are not supposed to. This is what true leadership is.
Charismatic leaders know this fact, this is the reason they are never afraid to accept the fact that they don’t know everything. There is no end to knowledge in this world. No matter how hard you try, you cannot always know everything. So, don’t even try. Or else, the sheer embarrassment of faking it might make you a joke in team members.
Leaders don’t fall
Have your heard about Titanic? No one expected it to sink in its first voyage, but it did sink. Didn’t it? Or, the WTC — the tallest building in the world at one point. It also came down. Did anyone ever expect it?
The point I’m trying to convey here is that you cannot expect to always rise. It is the law of nature that nothing exists forever. There are times when even the most charismatic of leaders end up on the wrong side of the table.
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But, you don’t need to worry if you fail as a leader at some point in your career. It is something every leader goes through. We all are well-versed with the story of Steve Jobs being asked to leave from Apple at one point, because they thought he failed as a leader. What happened afterwards is history.
On the outset, it might look like a fairytale — being a leader, but the challenges it brings along are not talked about as often as they should be.
If you are a leader who has faced such circumstance, as mentioned above, then don’t worry — you are not alone. Almost all of us, who have been handed over this responsibility to lead people have faced the same.
It is just that no one ever talks about it. It is time we all come up and share our thoughts, experiences and stories related to the topic so that everyone knows how tough and challenging it is to be a leader!
Originally published at LinkedIn.
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Vartika Kashyap runs the marketing team at ProofHub — a project management software for teams of all sizes. She is a seasoned marketing professional who is an expert in digital marketing and entrepreneurship. She’s been featured among LinkedIn’s Top Voices for the year 2016. Connect with Vartika on LinkedIn, Medium and Twitter.
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