When It Is Hard To Lead

You ever try to mentor when you didn’t feel like it? Maybe you are tired. Maybe the person or team you are trying to lead is difficult. Maybe you are out of your comfort zone. Whatever the reason, we all get in moods where we want to give up. It is easier. It lets us feel that we have done all we can. But have we?

1. Take an emotional and physical step back

Perspective is great. If you are so enmeshed and bogged down on the to-dos, it can be easy to get frustrated. Go for a walk. Make a list of goals. Draw. Whatever it is but just stop for a moment. Let yourself breathe. 

2. Spot defense mechanisms

We all have them. It isn’t surprising to get push back to change. It also isn’t surprising when you want to push back on them. Often this aversion to change is due to a few things:

  • Feeling threatened
  • Feeling intimidated
  • Tone may imply you are attacking
  • Feel inadequate as a leader
  • Feel passionate about a topic
  • Afraid of change
  • The list goes on…

3. Lead with compassion and kindness

If you find yourself frustrated, it is natural to guard up and not want to lead. As Mother Theresa said, ” Not everyone will be kind. Be kind anyways”. 

4. Acknowledge when you are guarded

It is okay to make mistakes even when trying to lead. Be willing to take hard looks at yourself. You will be surprised at how much you can grow.

So are you going to mess up? Absolutely. The key is not if you are going to make mistakes but whether you are going to become a better leader for it.


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