Being a leader can be tough on a number of levels, and many of those challenges are actually internal in nature. So what are those internal aspects that we need to consider in order to become better at what we do? Here are some of the main things to consider.
1. The need to stay humble
It’s easy to start believing your own PR when you’re on a rapid course to the top. Perhaps things are going well and people are saying great things about you. Just step back and remember that you are just one of a team, and that everyone who works with and around you deserves that same level of recognition. Great leaders are humble and never arrogant. Remember that your effectiveness is based on impact and integrity rather than authority. Recognise your team and stay humble.
2. The challenge of self-confidence
If we’re honest, most of us – whatever our level – experience self-doubt. And these feelings of imposter syndrome or fear can rapidly escalate as you move further up the career ladder. This self-doubt can become crippling and remove your abilities to motivate, inspire and serve your team. So if you aren’t operating from a place of healthy self-confidence, perhaps now is the right time to work on the way that you see yourself. Understand your value and remind yourself that you are enough and in your role for a reason. Work with a career coach if you need to develop the way that you see and talk to yourself!
3. The journey to overcome fear
Fear of change is one of the biggest stumbling blocks for all leaders, but change never stops and the way that we handle it defines the way that we operate as leaders. All of the ‘what ifs’ in life will stop you from being a great leader if you let them. From the worry of job cuts to economic changes, it’s vital that we learn to recognise the constancy of change, own it and remind ourselves that we can step up and respond to what’s happening – as it happens.
4. The imperative of following through
Leaders are always busy. There’s always more to do than we can find time for. Emergencies, opportunities and distractions abound and we are pulled in all manner of directions. So if you are struggling to follow through on the ideas, strategies and plans that got you into your role in the first place, you’ll be doing yourself a disservice. Focus on what’s important and prioritise following through – in terms of your strategy and in terms of the things that matter.
5. Staying motivated
You’ll naturally focus on motivating your team, but what about yourself? What motivates you and keeps you enthused? If you are over-working, not taking breaks, not investing in hobbies and interests and not seeing loved ones, then you’ll become ground down. Take time to invest in yourself as a holistic, whole and complex individual with a valuable home and inner life, as well as a business person. You’ll see and feel the results – and so will everyone around you.
Which of these challenges will you focus on overcoming this week?