Facing the Hardest Part of Leadership
Home 9 Leader's Digest 9 Facing the Hardest Part of Leadership

by | Jun 21, 2021 | Leader's Digest

Great leaders are not made overnight, and no matter how much experience a person has, they can always benefit from learning, growing, and training in the professional atmosphere. Because right when we think we have the new workforce and business world figured out, things change, employees resign, the economy shifts, and new ways of working emerge. Training in leadership development is essential to keep up with relentless change in the working environment, maintain strong internal relationships, and unleash the human capabilities (passion, initiative, etc.) that fuel organizations.

We need extraordinary and widespread leadership right now to get us through today’s challenges. Actually, we simply need more leaders. To dramatically increase the leadership capacity of an organization and build a leadership advantage, businesses should redistribute power and give more employees the ability to lead.

Top Job Skills Across the Board are Leadership Related

In their latest Future of Jobs Report, the World Economic Forum, a Swiss-based think tank, published a list of the top 10 job skills for 2025. 90% of the skills listed in their top 10 were once thought to apply only to traditional leadership roles (think complex problem-solving, leadership influence, and showing initiative). But, now, there is a strong demand for employees at all organizational levels to demonstrate leadership skills. Further, newly emerging in the latest iteration of this report are skills in self-leadership, such as active learning, resilience, stress tolerance, and flexibility. This marks a tremendous change for employees and their employers.

Help your team members develop these top skills through support and education, by allowing them to problem solve, and by communicating accountability. Training people and equipping them for leadership roles (even if they aren’t on a leadership track) is also a good step to helping them become cognitively aware and insightful leaders within your business. It will also help you build a leadership advantage for your company.

Facing the Hardest Part of Leadership

So, what is the hardest part about leadership? Sales managers and leaders across regions and industries may have different answers to that question. Here’s one take: as more employees grow their leadership skillsets and take on additional responsibilities, coupled with the complexities of today’s working world, it becomes increasingly essential for our teams to understand how to work with and around others. It also becomes increasingly important for leaders to understand how to work with their team members.

Another hard part of leadership: if you are nurturing leaders on your team (and, as we’ve established, you should be), it may feel challenging to interact with your team members as equals and not feel the need to constantly be in charge of them. But the corporate world is morphing, and the traditional line between leading and following is becoming more and more blurry. Being able to work on the same level as employees while also guiding them to a successful venture is important now and will become even more so in the very near future.

Tips to Consider

Here are some takeaways for leaders as they work to escape the limits of top-down power structures and energize their team members to exercise leadership skills.

  1. Break big teams or projects into smaller ones. This creates more opportunities for more people to lead an initiative or a group.
  2. Create an ownership mentality and accountability culture. Look for opportunities to give your team members more decision-making autonomy and hold them accountable for accomplishing goals and completing assignments.
  3. Open up strategic planning conversations to everyone in the organization, where appropriate.
  4. Teach your team to network so they can create connections with strangers and grow their confidence. Further, support the formation of informal teams in your organization, so natural leaders have a chance to step up.

Summary

Sales managers and business leaders should redistribute power and give more employees the opportunity to lead. Equip your teams with leadership skills and the passion to lead, no matter where they sit in the company.

How do you empower your team members to be leaders? How do you balance treating your employees like equals, but also leading them and coaching them towards success?

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