A few days ago I was talking with a colleague of mine. She told me a story of one of her coaching classes with middle schoolers that was astounding to me.
At the beginning of her class, she asked everyone who felt like they were a leader, to get up and walk to the right side of the class, while everyone who felt like a follower went to the left of the class. She watched as the whole class walked over to the right, each student putting themselves in the leadership category, EXCEPT one student, who walked to the left of the classroom. When my colleague asked her to explain her choice she responded by saying “Leadership is hard” I was astonished not just by herself awareness, but also her profound understanding of what leadership is.
Most of us, when we think of a leadership position, we think of all the perks that come with it, the power and influence, and all the added benefits. However, the biggest part of leadership is actually hard, because it’s about solving problems, changing the order of things, getting the best out of the people, making hard decisions, dealing with different needs, backgrounds, and expectations of diverse people. John Maxwell has a saying “Everything worthwhile is uphill” and this pretty much summarizes leadership. It is a constant uphill battle. When you get to one peak, it’s only the beginning of another uphill struggle. You’ve heard the saying; a leader has no two good days in a row.
One of African Leadership University’s main motto is #DOHARDTHINGS. I love this saying because it reminds leaders that yes, leadership is hard, there is no question about it; AND it is certainly worthwhile to pursue. So dear reader, whether you are a seasoned leader, or an aspiring one, I hope this mental note helps you come to terms with doing hard things because that’s what leadership is all about.
So dear reader, whether you are a seasoned leader, or an aspiring one, I hope this mental note helps you come to terms with doing hard things because that’s what leadership is all about.
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