Leadership is Challenging

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Leadership can be challenging.

It is challenging to recognize your own leadership.

We do not become leaders by magic. There is no automatic process, no external sign to tell you that you are a leader. We become leaders individually, from the inside out.

The leaders who inspire me come from the least likely places. They learn by trying, trying again, growing, and gaining wisdom. It takes a lot of hard work.

Much of that work is done within themselves.

Leadership often means challenging people’s expectations.

In addition to challenging their own expectations, leaders challenge the expectations of others.

Some of the greatest leaders in history have been underestimated or misinterpreted; Lincoln, Gandhi, Mandela. The people around them did not expect them to accomplish very much. Each of them, no matter how unlikely, contributed in ways that changed how we understand the world.

The leaders who inspire me find the inner strength to exceed what other people expect of them. The deep work they do to know themselves well gives them the resources to transform our expectations and lead from their core values.

Leaders challenge us to do more than we think we can.

The leaders who inspire me transform our expectations of ourselves. They help us see ourselves more clearly. They help us recognize and appreciate our own potential.

The leaders I remember convince me that I can do more than I think I can. They challenge my understanding of what is possible and what is not. They show me that I have strength beyond what I had imagined.

Leadership can be very challenging.

The more positive challenge a leader has brought to working with me, the more rewarding their leadership has become.

Where is your greatest leadership challenge today?

How do you challenge the people around you to bring out their best?

[Image by Tambako the Jaguar]

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  • http://www.jonstallings.com Jon Stallings

    Hi Greg, my wife and I currently serve a church where the previous pastors did just about everything. We have been working hard to cast a new vision, to help the people see their own call to lead. The hardest part has been my own patience. Several of our members are 60+ so it is taking a while change their way of thinking. So I have learned cast the vision consistently and to allow time for the Holy Spirit to make the change.

    • Strategic Monk

      Thank you, Jon!

      Yes, I have participated in several membership organizations, including churches, where people have reinforced expectations of “leadership.” It can take time, patience, and consistent examples to form a new common vision of leadership and membership.

      A resource that is helpful for me is the monastery where I take retreats and the Rule of Benedict. They have a strong approach to leadership and a history as a transforming community.