If you want to become a leader, you’re always given a set of requirements to do; you must have the wit, the charisma, the confidence, the connections, and so on and so forth. Once you’ve become one though, you find yourself at a loss. There are some things that no management course can prepare you for. So here are 5 things they don’t tell you about being a leader.
1. Leaders are often lonely
Now this might come off as surprising but when they’re already up there, it really isn’t. Here they are at the top of their game, the place you have devoted blood, sweat, and tears to but you are also here alone. Now this usually applies to the higher tier leaders. Why? It might be hard for them to find people who experience the same things they do; and when they do find them, a lot of them turn out to be more rivals than friends. You are usually left alone to deal with all these problems that you NEED to fix. The decisions, problems, and solutions SOLELY rest on their shoulders making it almost impossible for people to be able to relate to them or vice versa.
2. Leaders don’t always have the answer to everything
They may seem to be all knowing but believe me they’re not. So don’t be surprised when they can’t give you a straight answer. Rest assured though that a leader, well a good leader at least, devotes time and patience on answering a question he or she cannot readily answer. When they encounter problems they cannot solve immediately, they dive in with their whole being to try and fix it. That’s one of the most essential things that any good leader must remember. They may not be omniscient beings but they still have the passion and capability to find the right answers.
3. Being a leader is different from being a boss
There have been many articles said about this already but I think that it’s always good to remind people of the difference. A leader is someone who helps and guides his or her team in whatever task they must accomplish. A boss just orders people around to accomplish the task. A leader gives credit where credit is due while a boss claims his team’s achievements as his own. A leader cares about the well-being of his team. While a boss just pushes people to their limits without putting into consideration their physical and mental health. Most importantly what separates the two is that a leader is also a servant while a boss just sits high and mighty on his throne. Leaders are servant leaders. They exist to serve people in order to achieve their goal. Meanwhile, Bosses are just leaders who are self-serving.
4. Leaders have experienced failure
They can’t always win every battle that they are challenged upon. Sometimes, they make the wrong decisions and fail, just like the rest of us. They are human beings after all, beautifully flawed and prone to mistakes. What good leaders must remember is that they should still have the tenacity to overcome every failure. They must deal with it gracefully and work through it making sure the same mistake does not happen again.
5. Leaders live in the future
This phrase might seem a little cuckoo. Well they don’t necessarily physically live in the future but they always like to prepare themselves for it. These are the people who like to prepare for any circumstance that is put into their path. They may not be able to predict the future but they sure do come pretty close to it. They anticipate what the world needs before it even cries out for help thus making them efficient and needed.That’s what makes them brilliant and worthy of becoming leaders.
There you have it! These are the things you’d least expect to hear if you’re planning to become a leader. One must remember though that to even reach this honor you must be willing to exert a crazy amount of work. It’s not going to be an easy journey to be at the top but it’s going to be even harder staying there. I guarantee you though that it will be worth it. It will be worth it because you are given an opportunity to help not only yourself grow but other people as well. Leaders are people who are given the opportunity to make more significant changes in the world. They are the people who help mold and create it to the way it is today. Remember though that leaders do still need their team. After all, how can a leader be one with no one to lead?
- Danielle Bernabe
Illustration by Bianca Galila