What To Do When Leading Sucks

Leaders know there will be days when they no longer want to lead. Leadership is difficult and ungrateful at times. But what can we do about that?

A fellow leader brought this up during a recent coffee outing. He’s finding himself frustrated with his leadership position. There are feelings that things are going no where and he can’t change them.

Upper management doesn’t want to take on new ideas to increase their influence. Those he’s leading aren’t performing up to standard.

This is when he said “Leadership sucks. I’m not liking this.”

I think any leader that’s been around long enough has felt this way. They know there are leadership struggles every leader will face.

So what makes these leaders continue on the leadership journey? Are they superhuman or have some sort of magical power?

I don’t think that’s the case. They’re regular people just like you or I. Yet they’re able to persist even when leading sucks.

Here’s what great leaders do when leading sucks:

Great leaders recall the reason for leading – When leading becomes tough and you feel like you want to quit, there’s nothing like recalling the reason you got into leadership in the first place. This is your WHY. When you have your WHY, you’re able to get back on track and realize you’re leading for a reason.

A great way to remember your WHY is to write it down. Keep it in a place that is easily accessible so you can whip it out whenever frustration comes your way. You’ll be able to recall why you’re a leader and why leading doesn’t suck.

Great leaders take a break – That’s right, great leaders are willing to take a break when things start to feel rough. They realize there are times they need to recharge and refresh. So they’ll slip away for some rest and relaxation.

When great leaders come back from a break, a new sense of clarity is usually there. They’ve also missed leading and they see what was once a big issue wasn’t all that big after all.

Great leaders persist – Sometimes there’s no getting around the fact that leadership will suck for a season. Great leaders realize this and they will persist without exception.

If you’re willing to persist without exception you’ll break through the troubles of leadership and come out on the other side. There are periods of leadership that require us to go through difficult times and frustration. Keep on keeping on and you’ll eventually get to the joys of leadership once more.

Leadership isn’t all sunshine and roses. Remember this. But also know that when leadership sucks it won’t be for a lifetime. It’s just for a season.

Recalling why you lead, taking a break, and persisting through will help you overcome the feelings. Are you willing to put in the effort?

Question: What do you do when leading sucks? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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