How Leadership Becomes Easier

Leadership is a labor of love. You’re going to pour your all into it. And you may never get the energy you put into it back.

Leadership is hard. Leadership requires much of you.

You’re never going to find a quick fix to make your leadership easier.

Valley Towards Denali

Image by Nic McPhee

Leadership Is Difficult

There’s no way around this. Leadership will be difficult, especially as you start out.

You’ll be called on to provide everything you’ve got. Sometimes this isn’t enough. And you’ll be required to give more.

Your tribe won’t always want to follow. Your vision won’t always lead to sunshine and roses. Your leadership will be questioned.

Leadership is difficult. No question about it.

While there will be difficulty, don’t give up. You’ll regret it when you do. And you’ll be so close…

How Leadership Becomes Easier

When you lead, there’s always difficulty. Yet there’s a light up ahead.

There will be a day when leadership becomes easier.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying leadership will become easy. I’m not saying that at all.

What’s I’m saying is it becomes easier to lead. Why?

Because you’ve done lead before. There’s experience behind you now.

You’ve put in the time. You’ve put in the effort. You’ve laid the groundwork.

In the 2012 remake of Red Dawn Jed Eckert said “I am gonna fight. It’s easier for me, because I’ve done it before. The rest of you are gonna have a tougher choice.

Why was it easier for him to pick up and fight? Because he’s done it before.

He gained the confidence that comes from experience. He’s been there and done that.

After you’ve led for some time, you’ll discover this truth as well. It’s easier to lead after you’ve taken the steps and led.

Question: Has leading become easier for you? Why do you think this? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

I’ve got one more thing for you. The winner of the book Life After Art by Matt Appling. I used’s random number generator to pick a winner. The winner is Jared Latigo! I’ll be contacting you shortly with details of how to claim your prize.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • DS

    Practice may not make perfect, but it helps – as can be true here.

    Congrats Jared on winning the book!

    • Exactly DS. It’s not about perfection. It’s about moving forward and learning.

      BTW, I see you added an avatar to your Disqus profile. Looking good!

      • DS

        Thanks for noticing! It was long overdue.

        • My pleasure. It’s good to finally put a face to the name.

    • Practice can totally help when it comes to leading and it being less bearing!

      I agree, I also really like your avatar:)

      • DS

        Repetitions are helpful in so many areas.

        Thanks for the kind words regarding the avatar.

  • I think once you accept your responsibility to lead, you just do and make it a part of your life. As you make it a part of your life it will just be natural 🙂

    • Kimanzi, you’re right with your thoughts on this. The more leading you do, the more it’s a part of your life, the more natural it becomes. Just like anything else.

    • So true bro!

  • Leading has become easier in a sense because I have definitely learned to expect the things that could go wrong and make contingencies. There’s no way I could have learned any of those things without the experience so the quote you shared was a perfect illustration of that.

    Experience truly is the best tool to equip leaders. That’s why I wrote about hosting an event for leadership experience – it’s a small and low commitment way to throw yourself into the world of leadership.

    I hope up and coming leaders read this and are encouraged by it!

    • You definitely learn what to expect and new ways to react as you go along the leadership journey. What’s something you’ve learned along the way Jeff?

  • Steve Hawkins

    Leading becomes easier when you practice it often. For me, it started by just being available–volunteering in kid’s church during the second service. And then a little boy completely changed my life within the hour. As I’ve made myself available to help out more often in other areas, it get’s easier but fear bullies me to quit. By adding men in my life for accountability, their leadership skills rub off on me and we grow together by leading together.

    Someone once said that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. By befriending and working together with leaders stronger than yourself, you can grow your leadership skills. And then leadership becomes a lot easier.

    • Steve, that would have been Jim Rohn that talked about the average of the five people you spend the most time around. Amazing man with a great vision.

  • Leadership can be bearing however through practice and experience it can become less bearing. Our skills and abilities will grow as we keep leading which will allow us to lead better. Great post Joe!

    • Thanks Dan. That’s the point I was trying to get across. We gain new skills that can be applied to leadership and that will make leadership easier.

  • J.D. Meier

    Leadership became easier for me, once I embraced it.

    Early on, a colleague said to me, I need to set a better example. I said I don’t want the leadership role. He said, you don’t have a choice, people follow you.

    Since then, I learned to lead through vision, mission, and values, as well as lead with operating principles. I’ve learned to balance directing and motivating, the situational leadership way. I’ve learned how to find my voice, and help others find theirs. I’ve learned to focus on the greater good, and to go for the win-wins.

    That said, leadership is a verb. It’s a team sport. The players and the playing field are constantly changing, so leadership is a continuous challenge, especially if we follow our growth, and stay in the game.

    • J.D., that’s the beauty and pain of leadership, huh? People follow us regardless of whether or not we want the title or job. It’s our job to get the skills to lead well.

  • Joe,

    It becomes easier then you move to another level and the challenges compound once again. However, at this level it more an attitude issue for me. The few Soldiers whose lives I have been able to impact make it easier and worth while. I think on that and it makes it all worth it. I am grateful my troops look to me to help them find solutions.

    • True TJ, we often move upwards after we’ve gained the skills to make the previous level easier. But the great thing is we bring those talents to the next level.

  • Great thoughts here, Joe.

    When you are constantly learning, you travel up a hill. It’s easier to cross a plateau, but then you find the next lesson requires a steep climb. I think it’s a constant struggle. I think that what you learn makes it easier–but only if you stay where you are. If you keep challenging yourself, it may not feel like it is getting easier.

    • Skip, thanks for stopping by and commenting. It’s always a pleasure to have you here!

      You make a great point that if we keep challenging ourselves, things tend to seem harder and not easier. Yet with the knowledge we’ve gained, it is easier. We’ve taken the knowledge we’ve gained when we were on a lower step and can apply it to a higher one. Can you imagine how it would feel if you didn’t have all the previous knowledge you’ve gained from doing it before?

  • Another great post, Joe.

    Self Efficacy according to Albert Bandura (yes, my Psychology background is showing) is all about our own belief in our ability to succeed, and often we base this on past experience.

    Basically, fear turns into: “That was not so bad, after all. I guess I really can do this.”

    Practicing leadership builds efficacy.

    • That’s so true Jonathan. We gain the confidence to take on tasks because we have the knowledge we’ve done difficult things before.

  • In many ways, leadership has become easier because I know more what to expect – or to expect the unexpected at times. I have also built a wealth of experiences that allow me to better handle new challenges as they come about.

    • Those are the benefits of leading overtime and gaining experience.