The Difficult Truth About What Real Leaders Do

You want to build a start-up or get a promotion to a management job. You want to be a leader–to manage a team. And these are admirable goals. But, have you stopped to think about what day-to-day leadership looks like?

It’s not sitting in a big leather chair and handing down decisions that your brilliant staff carry out while you rake in the piles of gold. It’s a lot of hard work and sacrifice.

A woman who is an Operations Executive for a large company recently shared this, and with her permission, I share it with you. This is what leadership looks like:

To keep reading, click here: The Difficult Truth About What Real Leaders Do

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5 thoughts on “The Difficult Truth About What Real Leaders Do

  1. Maybe some companies ask too much of their employees.

    Maybe more people could spread out the work more effectively.

    What quality of work are these folks doing?

    1. And maybe management should delegate more.

      Crises happen, and require everyone to do what needs to be done. But if you’re *always* in crisis mode, the crisis in front of you isn’t the problem.

      1. Maybe you do your job so well that others turn to you for help. Maybe your workload was an insidious creep that you didn’t realize until you hit a wall. Maybe it was just easier doing it yourself.

        I am the product of all of the above. It wasn’t just one thing or just management that turned my workload into what it is today.

        1. All of those are example of things that, if they go on indefinitely, indicate that *someone* is not managing resources as well as they should.

          If enough others turn to you for help *so much that you’re in crisis mode all the time*, either you need more competent others, or you need more staff to provide that help.

          If your workload creeps up on you, you’ll eventually realize it, and at that point, you hire more people and delegate. Still not *perpetual* crisis mode, unless you choose for it to be.

          And “it’s easier to do it than to show you how” is an insidious trap that a lot of people fall into. It’s easier to do it *once* than to show someone else, but if it’s something that need to be done on an ongoing basis, it’s *not* easier to do it _every time_ than to show someone else _once_.

          It’s hard to do, but sometimes, you have to *make* the time to solve the crisis going forward.

  2. Eh, these statements could have been made by the Operations Executive or by an Executive Assistant. Working late, working hard, being sick, worrying about your fellow employees, that applies to all employees. I was hoping to get more into making difficult decisions (cutting departments, prioritizing projects, choosing how much to spend on healthcare plans), having difficult conversations (Sorry, that project you have been working on night and day is now cut and no one will see it), and teasing out who your future leaders are and taking the time to nurture them. When I think of the “truth of leadership” I think of navigating office politics, fending off demands from greedy shareholders, recognizing employee satisfaction, stepping up to squash corporate ethics violations, and all the other things I don’t want to know about or be responsible for.

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