10 Things you won’t like doing, but have to if you want to be a successful leader

  1. You have to get up earlier than you want to

You want to be the first one at work. You have to be the one standing by the door, greeting your team as they get to the office. Part of your role as a leader is to influence your team’s spirit and to set the tone for the day, and if you want any influence over that, you have to be at work early!! Setting the example to others is (obviously) a main responsibility you have and this is an easy way of getting your team there early, too. Another great reason to rise a little earlier, is to plan. There’s a reason why Stephen Covey wrote a whole book on his 3rd habit “Putting first things first” and that’s because planning your day and preparing for what’s about to come, gives you more control over the outcome.

2. You have to be accountable for your actions

Accountability eliminates the time and effort you spend on distracting activities and other unproductive behaviour. When you make people accountable for their actions, you’re effectively teaching them to value their work. When done right, accountability can increase your team members’ skills and confidence. Taking ownership at work is about taking initiative and doing the right thing for the business. It’s about taking responsibility for results and not assuming it’s someone else’s responsibility. It’s the opposite of passing the buck.

3. You have to be good to people who have treated you badly

This is something we REALLY don’t like doing. “An eye for an eye” right? No.

4. You have to deliver results when making excuses is an option

This is very self-explanatory. We always have a choice when a challenge lies in front of us and the choices you make, will shape who you become as a leader.

5. You have to lead when no one else is following you yet

Leadership is about doing the right thing even when no one else is watching (also in line with the definition of integrity). You also have to lead when no one else is watching. You have to be persistent in getting your message through when you feel like no one is listening. Somewhere someone IS listening and it might change their life (and yours).

6. You have to give more than you get in return right away

Leadership is not a privilege, it’s a responsibility. A lot of newly appointed leaders expect a huge salary increase, more authority and respect and expect to be exempted from reprimands. The world of leadership does not work that way. When I was promoted to my first leadership role in the workplace as a team leader a few years ago, I  took a massive (about 50%) salary cut. I did this with a smile, because now I could finally live out my passion. For every thing you gain, you must sacrifice something.

7. You have to try and fail and try again

Once again, persistence.

8. You have to run faster even though you are out of breath

Our brains are programmed to protect us and when you feel like you can’t do it anymore, you have only accessed a small percentage of what you can actually do. Being tired and feeling over it means now is the time to push even harder, you owe your team that.

9. You have to handle the stress or you won’t be able to manage the success


10. You have to care more about others than they care about you

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