How to Face the Challenges of Leadership

The purpose of leadership is to identify and create the future. If you want to lead, go somewhere and take someone with you.

The challenge of leadership is helping people keep up. You are ahead. If you aren’t ahead you aren’t leading.

10 ways to face the challenges of leadership:

  1. Embrace dissatisfaction and discontent with optimism. Nothing gets done without optimism – the belief it can get done.
  2. Define and explain the future in relevant language. Passion ignites when others own the future for themselves.
  3. Find alignment of purpose between individuals and organizations.
  4. Constantly explore change with openness and skepticism. “Will this advance the agenda?” Doug Conant.
  5. Persistently push forward while celebrating past success – balance dissatisfaction with satisfaction. Many never move beyond dissatisfaction.
  6. Leverage the power of simplicity and clarity. Change can be radical and dramatic but most change is a series of simple steps toward clear destinations. Break things down into bite-size pieces.
  7. Develop individuals and teams. “The team with the best players wins,” Jack Welch.
  8. Consult with others, constantly. The ability to suspend judgment takes you further than ruling things out quickly.
  9. Go with the highest point of confidence even while doubting. Perfect answers are the result of lack of thought.
  10. Start now. “Strong leaders don’t wait until they have it all together to lead. The more you learn the more you realize how much you need to learn. Act now and get better as you grow,” Harry Kramer.

If the purpose of leadership is to identify and create the future, what leadership skills are most useful?


Post in a picture by Larry Coppenrath: Challenges of Leadership