In this fast-changing world requiring more leadership, all this talk about leadership could lead to fatigue from so much talk about it. In a recent convo with Sam, I think he’s right, there are no easy answers (or reprieve) to leadership, it’s just plain hard. Leadership is figuring it out in your own context. Tons of air time about leadership principles and motivational inspirational pep talks. Not quite enough about self-care; not quite enough about how a leader doesn’t have to look strongly confident 24/7 and it’s okay to ask for help and where to get support. Other thoughts on leadership fatigue –
‘Leadership fatigue’ comes about for a number of reasons including such things as: persistent decision making which may have an impact on other people’s lives; defining and developing business directions, sourcing income streams for the business, consistently adjusting to dramatically changing economic environment and meeting regulatory, industry or professional requirements.
In this Seattle School talk, Dr. Dan Allender identified the reasons why most people are leaders, the top 5 issues leaders face, as well as some personal reflections on how to care for one’s self in the midst of leadership fatigue.
… business leaders and executives demonstrate fatigue because 1. so much of what they have been doing is not working as well as they would like and 2. what they know how to do, is not producing the results that are expected of them. This most commonly shows up as “things not moving fast enough” and “resources dwindling”. It also shows up with not having the “right people on board” or not being able to “retain the talent” needed to be successful.
… anyone who wields great power is bound to rub some people the wrong way, and those disaffected people accumulate over time. They also tend to have longer memories. As Dan Julius, a senior academic administrator now in the University of Alaska system told me years ago, “the things you did that upset people and create enmity live on much longer than what you did that people liked and created supporters.” … “leave before the party’s over,” which contains much wisdom about the importance of leaving positions before our charms have faded, and about the discipline required to do so. By overstaying, leaders place themselves in situations where they become less effective, tarnish their legacies, and are therefore less able to move on to a new position of power.
Can I make a confession? I sure get tired of leading. Though I currently do not occupy an organizational C-level leadership position, I confess that I sure get tired of having to initiate more frequently than I’d like. Sure would be nicer if it’d be more 50/50 where someone else initiates with me vs. my initiating with them. I don’t like the weight of having to make decisions with its consequences affect myself and others. Some people eat stress for lunch. I’d rather eat dessert.