You’re a leader.
There is a lot involved in that. You have opportunities to improve people’s lives, create positive change in the world, and leave things better than you found them. Influence is your currency, so impact can be your legacy.
But before you put on your cape and start saving the, there’s something you need to know. Something that most leadership books gloss over or avoid altogether. Something that can shift your perspective, encourage your heart, and keep you focused.
You are going to have hard days.
Below are some essential realities that most leaders don’t talk about. While they often go undiscussed, these truths are always felt.
Leadership is hard.
Whoever said being a leader is easy has obviously never been a leader. Making tough decisions, dealing with difficult personalities, intense pressure, managing problems and never having a quitting time are just a sample of the obstacles leaders face.
Difficult circumstances cause many leaders to quit. Giving up is the kryptonite of impact. Develop grit and toughness now, because you're going to need it. Sometimes success is largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go. There are hard days and hard decisions ahead of you. Do not quit. Resolve to do what is right above what is easy.
Leadership is thrilling.
Being a leader is like riding a roller coaster. There are ups, downs, feelings of fear, and times you wish the ride would just end! Instead of viewing this as a negative, embrace the adventure of it. Leadership is a thrill ride.
I love doing things that get my blood pumping. I have jumped out of a perfectly good airplane, hiked the steps of the pyramids in Egypt and been driven way too fast in a professional race car! Adventure thrills me. Just like any thrill, there is a bit of fear involved. Fear kills more dreams than failure ever will. Seize fear instead of allowing it to seize you. The positive side of fear is it offers you the opportunity to overcome something! Overcome fear and lean into the thrill of leading.
Leadership is a grind.
Leaders show up every day. There will be days when you feel in the zone, everything clicks for you. Conversely, some days come down to showing up when you do not feel like it. More often than not being a leader is grinding out mundane day-to-day issues. Commit to the grunt work of leadership
Consistency counts. The process is rarely sexy or cool. Greatness is found in the shadows of faithfulness rather than the spotlight of fame. Show up tomorrow and give yourself to the grind.
Leadership is worth it.
A leader does not simply perform a job, they answer a deeper calling. The work you put in matters. You are making a difference. You may not see the fruit of your work right now, but the best results take time to materialize. Keep going. Push harder. Don't stop. It is worth it.
If you are struggling today, stay in the game. Own these truths and know your work counts. When I face difficult moments as a leader I focus less on tasks and more on people. People are the end game of leadership. To help you stay focused, put yourself in a place to serve those you lead. People matter. People are why you lead. Serving people reminds you that leadership is worth it.