Here’s an interesting observation about leadership: There is a tension about leading – on the one hand we would like to think becoming a leader will bring a measure of personal satisfaction, peace and cordial relationships and respect from others – and yes it does, but on the other hand there also comes a constant dis-satisfaction as a leader, and sometimes a disruption of relationships! Why is this true?
Three Truths about Leadership
1. Leadership means discomfort. If you’re going to be an effective leader you must live outside your comfort zone. The nature of a leader is they are always pushing forward into new territory, taking risks and learning and doing something new. This creates a tension between satisfaction, pleasure and apprehension of where your bold move will turn out or now! As leader, especially as you are “on your way up” a leader, you are often in “over your head” – beyond your level of experience. If you are a leader or are moving into leadership expect to be uncomfortable a lot of the time.
2. Leadership means dis-satisfaction. Dis-satisfaction is a tool to move the leader to greater things and higher levels. One the one hand a leader is satisfied with the level that he/she has achieved and the positive changes that have occurred through his/her leadership, but on the other hand he/she is not satisfied with that level. A leader cannot rest until they can see more and more, better and better good things accomplished through his/her leadership. If you are a leader or are growing along the path of a leader be prepared to on the one hand live a very satisfied life, but on the other hand to live in dis-satisfaction as well.
3. Leadership means disruption. The status-quo is never the goal of a leader. The leader disrupts the normal way of doing things to present a new or better way. The leader doesn’t disrupt for the sake of being contentious, but he’s always looking to the future and what could be done to bring about more positive results in the world. Sometimes a leader disrupts processes or policies that have been set in place for a long time (traditions). Sometimes a leader disrupts relationships with he/she is trying to move the organization or business forward and there are those who resist. If you are a leader or on the pathway to leadership be prepared to sometimes face difficulties with traditions, policies or people. Be gentle with them and always try to lead by love and compassion, but expect that not everyone will want to walk with you as you make a new path to the future.
The above photograph is of Amelia Earhart, who was a pioneer in aviation. She challenged the normal way of doing things during her lifetime (1897-1937). She wasn’t satisfied with the status quo and keep pushing forward and paved the way for others to follow.
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