Any time you are placed in a position of leadership, you must be prepared for the fact that not everyone is going to like you. It’s not possible. Our current president is a great example. He just got re-elected to a second term, but nearly 48% of voters chose his most prominent opponent, Republican challenger Mitt Romney. President Barack Obama is still the leader of every American, whether they voted for him or not. He must have the resolve to make the decisions that he believes are best for the country without worrying about everyone liking him.
Any CEO can tell you that he makes decisions every day that are criticized, either openly or in whispers at the water cooler, by his employees. Listen to a sports radio call-in show on a Monday morning in the fall and you will hear dozens of people ready to explain why the coach of their favorite team got that play call wrong in the last two minutes of the game.
In a recent post on the Great Leadership blog developed by Dan McCarthy, Miles Anthony Smith writes about “The 5 Perils of Leadership.” Smith argues that men and women who strive for positions of leadership must be prepared to be hated, to face betrayal (that one goes all the way back to Julius Caesar!), and to tackle their owns fears and feelings of inadequacy. But, he also explains that those who are willing to put ego aside and remain focused on the goals they hope to accomplish with their positions of power are essential to our political, professional, and social structures. True leaders must be selfless in order to push back those short-term roadblocks put up by naysayers in order to make a difference and affect lives.
Check out the entire article and see if you can relate to any of these difficulties that come with being a leader.
In your own experiences in positions of leadership, how have you dealt with the negative reactions and attempts to make you doubt your mission?