I have read and written so much about the challenges and difficulties of leadership. You can spend so long thinking about how hard it is that you just lose sight of what it is really all about.
Research shows that very few of us work for money alone. Of course money is important; I’m not going to pretend otherwise. But most of us take more than money into account when thinking about how we are going to spend our working lives.
Being the leader can be exhilarating. When you start a new project and bring people on board, then see them start to share your vision and work towards it.
Have you ever had the privilege of working on something big from the sketch on the back of an envelope to seeing the work complete. And then coming back a few years later, when everyone takes what you put in place for granted! You know how much you, and they, achieved! They have moved on to the next challenge . But you have the quiet satisfaction of knowing it was a job well done.
Yes, I know it can be tough when it doesn’t work out like that. Perhaps your plan didn’t work or someone else takes the glory. Or it just got scuppered for no really good reason, at all. Sadly that is life, and the reality of corporate life in particular. You just have to get over it and get on with it!
At the end of the day real satisfaction comes from inside you and what you know you have done.
Oh yes, if you are good at what you do, you will get praise on the way. If you get lots of it, and I hope you will, I hope you do the decent thing and share the praise with your team!
You will know sometimes that the praise you receive is deserved and sometimes it isn’t – you just got lucky! Keep the modesty in your heart that allows you to know the difference!
But believe me there is no better thing to look back on in your career than bringing a vision into being and seeing others reaping the benefits.
You can remember those times next time you hit rough water. And, of course, if you take on tasks worth completing, you will hit rough water. If it was going to be easy, they wouldn’t need you! An easy job wasn’t what you signed up for anyway, was it, when you chose to be a leader?
Wendy Mason works as a personal and business coach, consultant and blogger. She has managed or advised on many different kinds of transition and she has worked with all kinds of people going through personal change. If you would like her help, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or ring ++44(0)2084610114 or ++44(0)7867681439