Deeper Perspectives on Being a Leader

deeper-perspectiveYou cannot be the leader you are capable of without overcoming your own insecurities, fears and blockages. Every leader has stuff behind the curtain that gets in the way and holds you back … stuff you’d prefer to leave behind the curtain. Some leaders have issues with confrontational situations. Some leaders absolutely hate the disciplines of budgeting and cash-flow management. Some leaders obsess over big decisions and make them too late, or never make them at all. Some leaders want people to “just do their jobs” without having to lead, manage, coach or evaluate them. Some leaders know that their company is stuck, but fear what can happen if they rock the boat. Some leaders are great at the visionary stuff and pretty much suck when it comes to execution. Chances are, you are one or more of the “some leaders” I just described.

There is nothing simple about being a leader. You don’t get a crystal ball that allows you to see the future … yet you need to predict the future. You don’t have unlimited cash reserves. You will not hit every goal. People will do dumb things … including you. People will amaze you and people will frustrate and disappoint you. You will earn trust and you will feel the pain when trust is broken. You will hire many of the right people and some of the wrong people. You will fire some people because their work and behavior could no longer be tolerated. Likewise, you will have to fire good people that just couldn’t do the work. You will feel elation in your victories and agony in your defeats. Like I said, there is nothing easy about being a leader.

So why do you want to be a leader? Why subject yourself to the agony and ecstasy of leadership? As an entrepreneur, why risk everything for a vision, an idea, that has more question marks than answers? Why deal with the stress and frustration of leading people to something that many will never want as bad as you?

Here are some No-Compromise Leadership perspectives on why leaders want to be leaders:

  • Self-actualization: I always wanted to be a leader and run my own company. It was something inside me that needed to come out. At age 65, I can say, “I did it.” I found my leadership voice. I figured a lot of the leadership puzzle out because that’s all that leadership is … a puzzle of thinking and behaviors. I love the journey of discovery. I love growing as a leader and businessman. And at 65, I haven’t had my fill yet. I have more to do and much more to give back. Perspective: Leadership self-actualization is the pursuit of discovering who you are and what you are made of. If you hesitate in the least, you didn’t want it bad enough.
  • More than money: For me, money and profit is simply a measurement of how hard I work and how good I am as a leader. Don’t get me wrong, I love what money allows me to do and have, but the money is an outcome that is earned. Perspective: To me, there’s something unsettling about “doing it for the money.” Building something special that others want to be part of is what inspires great leaders. Do that to the best of your ability and the money will come. Just be disciplined with money or you’ll squander it.
  • Camaraderie and team: Even though I could be quite successful on my own just doing seminars, keynotes, coaching and writing, I never really liked working alone. I thrive when immersed in the energy and culture of other like-minded people on the same quest. I like making and creating opportunities for others to test themselves and grow. Perspective: To build something greater than yourself, you need to share your vision with others. You need to be confident enough to allow those you trust to be responsible for elements of your vision. That’s the only way to build it bigger and faster than working alone. Share the successes, victories, defeats and lessons with others because that’s what makes leadership so fulfilling.
  • You never know unless you try: I followed my calling. Perhaps it’s more accurate to say that I chased, pursued and clawed my way to where I am. I took some big risks. A few of those risks blew up and taught me valuable lessons. But some of those risks gave me the career that I once just imagined. I purposefully put myself into uncomfortable situations that would make me better at my work and a better leader. Perspective: There are no entitlements in leadership. You fight for and earn every win. You get used to keeping yourself uncomfortable, pushing yourself and testing yourself. If you think you’re “entitled” just because you have the title of leader … all you have is a title.
  • Nothing else compares: I wouldn’t trade being a leader and entrepreneur for anything. Nurturing new talent and seeing people learn, develop and grow is the special gift of leadership. Seeing your company grow and prosper and work through its challenges is the special gift of leadership. Seeing yourself mature as a leader is the special gift of leadership. Seeing your team rally behind and embrace your vision to lift it to places you could not have achieved alone … IS the special gift of leadership. Perspective: Give leadership all you’ve got and you’ll never … ever … regret it.
    No Compromise!

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Please share your thoughts with me about today’s Monday Morning Wake-Up. Click below to comment.

Pass this e-mail on to your business colleagues, managers and friends. They will appreciate it.


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