7 Fears of the Joyless Leader

The fearful are not joyful. But the fruit of confidence is passion and grit.

Successful service requires a commitment to address your own fears.

7 fears of joyless leaders:

  1. Others will outshine you after you’ve helped them succeed.
  2. Others won’t serve you after you serve them.
  3. Others won’t honor your service. They won’t respect what it cost you to serve them.
  4. Others will criticize you when you’re doing your best. (Because you always intend to succeed, critics seem unappreciative.)
  5. Others won’t give you opportunities after you help them succeed.
  6. Others will focus on your weaknesses but won’t appreciate your strengths.
  7. Others won’t understand the pressure you feel.

Humility answers fear:

The freedom of servant-leadership is serving because it’s who you are, not simply something good to do.

True service reaches beyond reciprocity.

Serve even when you’re under-appreciated. It doesn’t matter if others appreciate you.

If you have the opportunity to serve where you’re appreciated or serve where you’re disrespected, choose the former. But in all cases, choose service.

Toward joyful leadership:

  1. You’re going to get it wrong. Now that you have that settled, move forward.
  2. You may not know everything, but you know something. The need to “know everything” drains the life out of you.
  3. A good question is often better than a good answer. Pop the cork on needing to know with needing to ask.
  4. Others have skills that you don’t have. One joy of leadership is helping people succeed in fulfilling roles.
  5. Some people are better off in other organizations. You usually wait too long to help someone move on.

What sucks the joy out of leadership?

How might leaders move toward more joyful leadership?