As a leader of a particular domain, you are the last in line. You are the person who gets the most credit in triumph and the person who feels most pain in defeat.
Your subordinates will have quarrels, they will have worries, and they will be unsure of the work that they’ve done. Your team will have a person to go to with all their problems for solutions. Your team will also be able to feel fear in the face of hardship, knowing that there is a person who may have the answers which will serve to eliminate that fear.
You however, will have nobody to listen to your worries. You’ll have no choice but to give a final answer, and provide desperate solution. The fear you feel in the face of hardship will not be able to be transferred. You’ll need to take it all in, wrestle with it, and digest it smoothly. You’ll be the last in line to hear unsolvable problems, and the first who others listen to for solutions.
You’ll sometimes feel lonely as a leader, and this article hopes to simply communicate the notion of how normal that feeling is.
Turning Chaos into Order
As the leader of any chosen group, every feeling, emotion, and decision that needs to be made will come to you for analysis. As the one on top, you may have nowhere to go to for answers and nobody to guide you in your journey for the truth. Understand that your subordinates will come to you with emotion which will need to be suppressed. The leader is not just a decision maker, but one who brings comfort in times of disparity. A leader is someone who allows their subordinates to voice their emotion-fueled opinions and is able to derive fact from those opinions. Your subordinates will be unsure, and your subordinates will sometimes even want to walk away from it all.
You have to take all that chaos in and create order out of it. A leader knows how to take everything into account and deliver a balanced and optimal solution. The process toward an optimal solution is a long one, too long to describe in a single article online. However, yearn to become a master at balancing the scales and keeping it all going. The first step to converting chaos into order is to turn yourself into a sponge of emotion.
No Choice But to Listen and Not be Heard
The most vital role you play as a leader is being a stable beacon of support for your subordinates. Always remember: the leader who reacts emotionally to any sort of negative stimuli is not fit to lead the effort in mitigating the thing(s) that cause(s) panic. The image you portray in the face of bad news is just as (if not more) important as the strategy you come up with to overcome that bad news. This point is important enough to repeat and remember fully: Your primary task as a leader in any capacity is to display emotional strength in the time of worry.
You have no choice but to listen to the bad news of your team members. If you choose to hide from painful information, it will come back to bite and defeat you. You cannot escape the painful and worry-filled information that will be escalated to you from levels below. Act like you’ve been there before even if you’re afraid. Be afraid of failure, be afraid of losing, and be afraid of letting your subordinates see you being affected by any news that they may bring.
You have no choice but to not be heard. The problems that are brought to you are now your own to deal with. The perks of being a leader can be curses in the time of hardship, and you earn your keep as a leader during the hardest of times. Being a leader is therefore a lonely pursuit as you are often left to deal with your own emotions and hardships, along with those of your subordinates as well. Stay strong, and have the confidence to know that you will get through anything that is brought up to your attention.
Your success as a leader will be correlated to how you deal with the lonesome facets of being in your position. How will you emotionally deal with knowing what you know and being required to do the things you need to do? The purpose of this article is to simply acknowledge these facts, remind you to portray an image of strength, and to be confident in yourself fixing the issues at hand.