It’s amazing to me the number of people in leadership positions who say that “the people part” of their job is the toughest. They say things like “my people just don’t care” and “it’s lonely at the top.”
They almost never like my response. I’ve tried to soften my answer, I’ve tried responding to them a hundred different ways. But the answer always remains some variation of this: if your people “don’t care” or you’re really “lonely at the top” then you may be in a leadership position but you clearly aren’t leading.
Leading, truly leading, doesn’t suck, not even a little. Being in a leadership position and NOT leading, well that sucks a lot.
With leadership comes responsibility. Responsibility to make sure your people DO get it. Responsibility to create the type of culture where your people WILL care. Leadership comes with the responsibility to care for your people and to show it frequently and intentionally.
Authentic leaders also accept responsibility for the success or failure of their people.
I’m always amazed to hear someone in a leadership position disparage one of their people. The say something like “the guy is just an idiot”, and then I ask them who hired the guy. They get a kind of quizzical look at their face but they never fully connect the dots.
If you have someone working for you and they are not performing up to expectations then there are really only two possibilities, either you are not giving them the tools and training to succeed or you hired the wrong person. An authentic leader accepts that responsibility while someone merely in a leadership position will shift the responsibility to anyone but themselves.
If you’re an authentic leader, someone leading for the benefit of others and not themselves, then you love leading. You know you’re making a difference in the lives of your people and you know your legacy will outlast you. Obstacles are just opportunities to grow and you relish each new challenge with a commitment to excel.
If you’re an authentic leader you have the kind of relationship with your people to ensure they “get it” and its never lonely at the top because your people are right there with you.
Leadership sucks? Nothing could be further from the truth!