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The 12 Toughest Challenges of Leadership

The challenges of leadership are inside leaders. Stop blaming organizations and others for your shortfalls and failures.

Take the bull by the horns. You are the bull.


The 12 Toughest Challenges of Leadership:

  1. Humility during success.
  2. Confidence during setbacks.
  3. Stepping back so others can step up.
  4. Putting plans into action – Follow through. Experience shows up to 90 percent of strategic plans never achieve execution.
  5. Leading change. Leaders don’t just do things, they change things.
  6. Admitting mistakes. One contributor suggests that self-awareness and honesty are essential to saying, “I was wrong.” 
  7. Listening with the goal of learning.
  8. Encouraging constructive dissent.
  9. Learning from criticism.
  10. Asking for feedback.
  11. Maintaining focus on the future.
  12. Building the team.

You not situations:

Leadership challenges always involve changing situations. You, however, are the common factor. Your ability to lead yourself is your greatest ability.

Situations come and go but you are always there.

Building the team:

Produce the most fruit by leading yourself to build the team. Success depends on your ability to attract, develop, and retain top talent.

How to spot top talent?

Top talent wants to:

  1. Know where you are going so they can find alignment. Tell them the goal?
  2. Develop plans with you. Once they align with the goal, don’t give them the plan, develop it with them. Top talent wants a hand in making plans.
  3. Make meaningful contribution. They ask, “Where do I fit in?” They need meaningful contribution. Drifting isn’t enough for top talent.
  4. Work with others. Lone Rangers have a place, but never on great teams.
  5. Rise to challenges.

Key qualities:

Determine the nonnegotiable qualities you expect from your team members. Go with their strengths; compensate for their weaknesses.

What are the toughest challenges of leadership?

What qualities do great team members possess?

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