Not everybody is prepared to endure the demanding responsibilities of a leadership role:
- It’s tough to challenge status quo and to pilot your organization forward into unfamiliar territory
- It’s tough to be long-term oriented and to propose transformative ideas that may fall eventually short of expectations
- It’s tough to see around the corner and to rely on gut intuitions to develop an “end state” vision
- It’s tough to prioritize decisiveness over inclusivity and to take tough—and sometimes unpopular—decisions
- It’s tough to resist the urge to settle and to avoid letting circumstances define your strategy
- It’s tough to gain strong credibility and communicate the direction and priorities of your organization
- It’s tough to face censure and be verbally graceful under fire
- It’s tough to be decisive, to acknowledge setbacks, and to change course midstream, if required
- It’s tough to rationalize seemingly irrational actions and to ask for resources
- It’s tough to be tough-minded without being inflexible or insensitive
- It’s tough to do the right thing while resisting the temptation to please your constituents
- It’s tough to say no when you must; it’s tough to say yes when you can’t
If you cannot come to terms with the pressures of a leadership role, perhaps leadership may be the wrong kind of work for you.
It is acceptable to be an individual contributor; although you must still develop your leadership skills to succeed in any role in the modern organization.