I juggle a lot of priorities in my life, both personally and professionally. I'm the strong one, the one that can handle everything, the one who is cool under pressure, the one with a clear vision, and the one who never gets too flustered when things don't go as planned.
At least that's the feedback I get sometimes...and humbly try to deflect for one important reason: I'm human. I'm not infallible. I feel the pressure just like you do.
Leadership is Hard
Sometimes the role of "leader" gets lost in the trappings of adjectives, and compliments, and a little bit of sucking up. I understand. Those things are part of the world we live in, and usually are well intended and sincere.
What I find that can be more difficult for others to see is that despite the self-confidence and willingness to take risks, leaders are still regular people who have the same emotions, concerns, and fears.
We're just better at not letting them show.
Be Real...Be Invincible
It's funny that despite the leadership development programs, thousands upon thousands of leadership books, and the new wave of thought leaders in the blogosphere, there continues to be such dramatic differences in how leaders do their work.
Some of us try to connect more effectively with our teams by sharing our real selves, discussing personal issues, and making fun of ourselves when we make mistakes (I have to do that last one A LOT!)
Yet somehow, we're also expected (perhaps self-imposed) to be strong regardless of the situation. Calm, as the hurricane winds of change blow violently around us. Champions for all in the middle of the chaos.
Friends, sometimes that feels like an awful lot to manage for one person.
How About You
Is the balance between human being and super-human leader something you have mastered? If so, I want to know your secret. I will admit, I love my role as a leader, and wouldn't trade it for any other job in the world. But in the spirit of keeping it real...sometimes it scares the hell out of me.
I'd love to hear from you.