the challenge

The Challenge of Leading

Business owners and leaders face the challenge every single day of making sure they have the right people, doing the right jobs, in the right priority, so that their organization succeeds for everyone involved. It is a juggling act and one that, often times, is not an easy one.

One of the toughest aspects of this role, is when you know the right jobs and you are clear on the priorities, but you are unsure if you have the right person. As a leader, it can be frustrating when you see one of your employees, with so much potential and yet, things don’t seem to be coming together.

We get mad at them and blame them for things not working out. We justify to ourselves that we have told them the same thing over and over and if they would just listen, then everything would be fine. We dig into the past and come up with all the examples of where things haven’t worked out and tell ourselves that something has to change.

You push yourself right to the edge. You know what I am talking about; the edge. The one where you tell yourself that tomorrow you are going to let them go or make some other drastic change and in that moment, you are crystal clear around the actions you are going to take. Sound familiar?

So, what happens next? I’ll tell you, although likely you already know. Somewhere over the next couple of hours, you take a deep breath and you start to question yourself and your resolve; maybe it isn’t as bad as you thought, maybe you weren’t clear enough or didn’t give the proper instruction, maybe there was some other mitigating circumstance. You give that employee the benefit of the doubt and decide to give them another chance.

I want you to know this is one of the best aspects of being a human being. It doesn’t matter how introverted you might be, we are all social beings. The thought of the world leaving us or giving up on us, is one of the greatest fears each of us has.Because of that, we find it difficult to do the same to others. It is the same reason we feel remorse when we get mad at each other, because we are afraid that someone will dislike us so much, they leave.

There is not a leader or manager, who isn’t faced with this type of dilemma from time to time, and it is also why “human resources”, is often sighted as one of the least favourite things a leader has to do. You see it is easy to leave a machine, but it is tough to leave a person.

I write about this today, not because I have some easy answer to this challenge. I write to tell you that in those moments when you feel that overwhelming conflict, you are okay. You are human and the fact that you are not willing to throw in the towel, when the going gets tough, is part of what does make you a great leader. It doesn’t mean that sometimes the best course of action, is to let people move on, but recognize that you are human being first, and a business owner or leader, second and that is the way it should be…it is what makes you, you.