“With great power comes great responsibility” …and significant barriers. It is essential to be aware that leadership is not an easy skill to acquire. There are many barriers that you may come across during your development as a leader.
Here are a few to help you be aware of them.
Being Open to Feedback
Even when we feel that criticism is unfair and subjective, it is best to open up and learn from it. Here are three ways for responding to feedback proposed by the Harvard Business Review:
Don’t react immediately: Feedback should not be dismissed when given. By being calm and respectful, you allow the space for the feedback to be heard. Most people who provide feedback has a good intention, the intention being to improve something. You might not agree with the opinion, but it might trigger a good thinking process.
Understand the feedback: Since the objective of constructive feedback is to improve. It is essential to understand what we are being asked to correct. Make the other person feel heard by asking questions to clarify their point and bring some insight into the reason behind the feedback. You can use an old trick by therapists, which is to rephrase what you have heard to make sure it is understood clearly.
Don’t let it get to you: It might come across as you are the problem, or the problem is directly connected to one of your behavior. If that is the case, don’t let personal criticism get to you and your confidence. Use the information to help you grow and let go of what you cannot control (such as people’s opinion of you).
Moving Into Action
Many will get stuck in the planning mode, implementing a change or an action is harder than it looks. Do not get stuck in the planning and make sure that you take small steps or actions, every day, toward your goal. Another aspect that will stop you from moving into action is getting stuck in the busy pace of life.
Not having time is an excuse for not taking action; the reason is that you did not make your goal a priority.
Accepting Responsibility for Mistakes
Leadership comes at a price, the spotlight is often on you, and if you do not accept the responsibility of your mistakes, people will notice it. If you want to be a great leader, you need to be a role model and show others that it is OK to make mistakes. Mistakes do not define who you are; they define who you were and allow you to grow and become a better version of yourself.
Learn to embrace conflict and disagreement in a way that you do not take it personally. Leaders thrive in conflict because they know that any conflict will bring growth and improvement. Conflict resolution might be one of the most challenging aspects of relationships, but when you learn to be comfortable with them, you do not run away when they happen.
Confidence When Facing Failure
Failures are imminent when you are trying something new or trying to change. It might be a big or a small failure. As a leader, you need to see failure as an opportunity to learn why it did not work and what needs to change. As Thomas A. Edison sophisticatedly said: “I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
As a leader, it is often very easy to be distracted. You need to figure out ways to stay on track to your goal and reduce all the distractions that stir you away from your accomplishment.
Because you will be known to be a problem solver, you will be consistently interrupted by others to help them with their problem. Find ways to empower others to be leaders in their life and remove some of the tasks you do for them.
Humility Versus Success
When you become popular or successful as a leader, humility can quickly disappear from your qualities. While humility is essential in great leaders, you can make sure that you do not lose it by always being aware of others and their contribution. Be a collaborative member of society and remain in integrity with who you are and where you are going.
Learn When to Step Aside
Leaders may often be seen as being in front of the pack, but like Simon Sinek’s latest book title, “Leaders eat last.” That is a lesson we can learn from great military leaders. Allowing others to lead the group, or the goal, is good and mostly very motivating to the group. Be aware that you do not always have to come up with solutions or ideas; allow the space to get help from others.