Heading into leadership, you’re starry eyed and hopeful. You have great ambition. And you know you’re going to get things done.
Then reality hits. Leadership is hard. Harder than you expected at least.
When you entered leadership, you didn’t know everything. You still don’t.
But there are some key things every leader must know.
I love leadership. It’s a lot of fun with a huge portion of challenge tossed in.
You’re interacting with others. You’re helping people become the best version of them they can be. And you’re changing the world.
Then reality hits. There are the leadership obstacles no one told you about. Then you become discouraged.
Today, I want to share with you the things I’ve come to realize every leader must know.
8 Things Every Leader Must Know
1. Leadership isn’t about you:
Let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way. We’re often led to believe that leadership is about the leader.
Leadership isn’t about the leader. Leadership is about the organization and their goals.
2. Your attitude impacts your team:
It’s amazing how your attitude can set the tone for the rest of your organization.
When you have a bad attitude, that attitude seeps over to the attitudes of your team. Be aware of this.
3. You cannot overcommunicate:
Having a vision and casting the vision are two different things. And casting the vision requires us to communicate.
Sometimes to the point of feeling like you’re overcommunicating.
Don’t believe the gut feeling. You cannot communicate enough.
4. Think inside of the box:
You often hear that we need to think outside of the box. Great ideas are born when you think in unconventional ways.
True and false.
A lot of great ideas were born from outside of the box. Even more are born from inside the box thinking.
Inside the box thinking allows you to use what you know to its fullest ability.
5. Find time to play:
There’s an old saying that goes: All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. It also makes Jack a grumpy, frustrated boy.
We’re not meant to be constantly on. We were created to play as well.
I find my play in walking through the woods with my wife and dog, flying my drone, going for runs, and more. You need to find your own way to play.
But whatever you do, don’t neglect it.
6. You can’t do it all yourself:
Doing it all yourself is what I call the Lone Ranger syndrome. You put on the leadership hat, step out the door and leave everyone behind.
That’s a big no-no. Leadership isn’t done in a vacuum. In fact, leadership is done best when you surround yourself with wise counsel.
7. Success isn’t always success:
I’ve found this concept hard to grasp. After all, wouldn’t success be meeting sales goals or reaching the vision you’ve cast?
There’s so much more to success than reaching a goal.
You have to reach the goal with your soul intact. You have to still have your integrity.
If you reach what you consider to be success but have sold your soul, you’ve missed success.
8. Your heart matters:
While leadership isn’t about you, there is a portion of leadership that is. That is your heart.
You have to guard heart because it is the well-spring of your life.
Letting your heart be beaten and torn up won’t do you or your team any good. Remember to take care of your heart, both physically and emotionally.
There’s a lot to know when you’re going into a leadership position. These are just a few of those things. Yet they’re what I consider to be critical to building a successful run as a leader.
Question: What would you say every leader must know?
This article originally appeared here.