That’s how many results Google provided when I searched for the phrase “leadership failures.” Wow, we must suck.
I’m Not Buying It
With all due respect, I have not given up on the notion of good leadership. Yes, we struggle. I’m at the head of that line. But I for one believe it’s worth it to keep trying, not because I have to, but because I actually believe leadership is a noble role.
Now before your eyes roll into the back of your head, consider this: How many times have you complained about a decision a leader made in your company, or social club, or sports team? How many times have you felt that you could do a better job than someone else in a leadership role? Have you seen leaders lose their way because the pressure of the job was too much for them?
Leadership isn’t easy. There is often so much criticism directed at these people that we miss what the impact is on them as human beings.
Leadership ages people. Don’t believe me? Take a look at the before and after pictures of American Presidents. Sure, that’s an extreme example, but the reality is leadership can wear people out.
Nowhere To Go But Up
If then, the pit is so deep, it seems to me we only have one option: start climbing. With all of the chatter about failing and whether or not it is in vogue to openly discuss it, I say who cares. People are going to fail, and that includes leaders. That includes me.
But the true champions will keep pushing forward and try to improve. Even if it means they have to check their ego at the door. I hate it when I have to do that…but I’ve gotten pretty good at it.
How About You
So why in the world do we stay in these positions? What could possibly be the draw that brings us back over and over again? Easy, we have the privilege to help others do incredible things in their work every day. Now that is something to be thankful for.
Jay Kuhns is a human resources executive, leadership coach, speaker, consultant and is the author of Unstoppable Power, Leverage Energy, Risk and Relationships and Advance Your Leadership Career. He is a “Type A” leader who understands that human resources leadership is about high energy, creativity, strong personal connections and making changes that push organizations forward.