No question about it; being a Leader isn't about having a chair at the head of the table and commanding, but it's a complex game of choices, courage and resilience.
Today, I'm gonna talk about a territory that might feel all too familiar to some and not so to others: the unspoken battles of leadership.
For those seasoned in these challenges, you'll find connection in these words. For the aspiring leaders, brace yourselves; these aren't tales you often hear, but they're essential to know early in your journey.
Here are they,
1. The Hard Decisions: A Double-Edged Sword
Once in a meeting room filled with my dedicated team, I was in a position to make a decision that would affect people I cared about...
It was a decision that would both challenge and shape them. Of course not a very welcoming decision to make.
But I was reminded of my past, I recollected those times where my leaders were tough on me, pushing me to grow.
Here are some of the key pointers which helped me and certainly will help you when you face such challenges. Let's call it a playbook.
Prioritize: Your decisions may affect someone negatively today, but avoiding the decision can lead to worse consequences later.
Empathize, but Don't Trap Yourself: Being empathetic doesn't mean avoiding tough decisions. Embrace them; they shape character.
Accept the Impact: It's going to affect some. But remember, the hardships you faced shaped you. Now, it's your turn to shape others.
2. Good Intentions, Mixed Reactions: The Leadership Paradox
This is perhaps the most connected thing to me. In my early days of career, as like most of us, I use to think why my Lead is not good with me, what makes him/her to always point out things which didn't go well and why is it always with me :)
Fast forward now, I can totally relate.
As a leader, striving for what's right often means you won't be the favourite of everyone. Sometimes, doing what's best means not being liked by everyone.
Here's how you deal with it,
Accept the Paradox: Your best intentions may not align with others' expectations, and that's okay. It's a complex aspect of leadership that's both challenging and rewarding.
Open the Dialogue: Engage in conversations, understand differing perspectives, and work towards aligning your goals. It builds connections and paves the way for mutual growth.
Guide and Grow: If goals align, help others progress. If not, remember the lessons from playbook one; hard decisions are sometimes necessary.
3. Misunderstandings: The Silent Battles
Ever been in a situation where people just nod and agree, only because you're their Leader or Manager?
I've been there, trying to explain myself to a team member, only to realise that my well-intentioned words were making things worse.
These silent battles are common in leadership, and the road to overcoming them is paved with wisdom and patience.
Let Actions Speak: Words can sometimes confuse; actions are unambiguous. Show, don't just tell.
Give It Time: Understanding comes with time. Continue to lead with integrity, and people will see your true intentions. And if not? It's essential to accept that it's okay.
Conclusion: Embrace the Challenges
These battles are not unique to me or anyone else. Great leaders emerge out of these very challenges. The more you face them, the greater leader you become.
Does the playbook works always, Well, Not always, guess what? That's perfectly OK.
Remember, leadership is a thrilling ride, even with all its challenges, misunderstandings, and occasional isolation. You know why?
Because at the end of the day, you know you've got a team by your side, ready to win battles together.
Stay happy, and until next time, keep leading the way!
Big shoutout to Anuj Kapoor, the man with a master plan always! Working alongside him for many years was like getting a crash course in visionary leadership. His 'team-first' philosophy was nothing short of inspiring, and his ability to turn challenges into triumphs was uncanny. Thanks for the wisdom and the memories, Anuj. May your leadership light continue to shine bright!