Why Leadership Is so Hard

**Great article we found on Inc.com.**

Why Leadership Is so Hard

It’s very hard for leaders to show that they’re good at leading, and that they know what they’re doing. Which is why sometimes, they need to do a lot less.

Many burdens of leadership are well known and visible: getting people to back a common purpose and vision, managing change, and maintaining a balanced personal perspective. But there are a number of hidden challenges, common to both new and old leaders, that underlie the more familiar work. Here are three ways that new and experienced leaders can manage these rater inconvenient challenges just below the surface.

There are three recurring themes that can make leadership seem inconvenient. I’ll call them competency, doing, and control.

How Can a Leader Show Competency?

As an individual contributor, it’s easy to show that you know what you’re doing. If you have mostly transactional and tactical responsibilities, your decisions, actions, and results are largely clear. However, as a leader, your portfolio is larger, more ambiguous, involves more people, and is more vulnerable to a wide variety of influences.  With this comes both increased authority and less direct control over outcomes.

Many leaders mistakenly try to fill this gap by becoming “overly competent.” Usually, that means they invade someone else’s work while ignoring certain of their own key responsibilities. We see this in the start-up CEO with an engineering background who avoids his broader company responsibilities by staying immersed in the daily activities of the technology team.  We might also see this in the corporate Vice President who is running a new a new cross-functional department; rather than genuinely delegating work to the team, she keeps them tightly tethered that she won’t feel left behind.

Both of these micro-managers may be motivated by a desire to demonstrate competency in an area of their expertise (what they did in the past) rather than by focusing on the requirements of broader leadership (what they need to learn for the future.)

Leaders need to recognize that for them, competency is manifested differently than it is for their staff. A leader’s failure to adjust (or personal frustration at having to make an adjustment into new competencies) prevents one from leading fully.

**To read the rest of this article from the original source , Click Here**


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