The Challenges Of Leadership

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


Being a “leader”, is challenging at times, but it’s also an honour and a privilege.

The word leader is often associated with high profile positions, and positions of power such as presidency. It can also be associated with sport, being a coach, manager or captain for instance. But there are also other ways you can be a leader or demonstrate leadership qualities in everyday life. Those in managerial positions in workplaces are also leaders.

You can also be a leader without knowing it. We’ve seen the emergence of influencers and vloggers, who have a following they communicate with every day. Your audience listens to you, they engage with you, they follow and are “influenced” by your decisions and opinions. Being on platforms such as YouTube and Instagram, where the majority of us spend most of our time, users come onto the platform seeking direction. They digest what they see and it becomes a habit and a way to live their lives.

If you’re in a position where you can influence others, you’re in a privileged position – use that privilege wisely.

There are different types of leaders; those who are vocal and motivate a following with their words, others like to lead by example, doing rather than saying. I fall into the category of “doing” rather than “saying”.

Growing up, I didn’t really have any positions of leadership, except when I got to college. During the year of 2010/11, I was elected as student representative by my classmates. I didn’t put myself forward for it because being a student rep at the time meant meetings outside your schedule, and being the middle person between classmates, tutors and the college. It meant dedication to the role.

It wasn’t what I put myself forward for, but I guess it showed my classmates thought of me as someone responsible enough for that position. As time went on, my classmates and tutors recognised me as the “go-to” person if there were messages to send from students to tutors, or vice versa.

Even at university, when it came to group projects, my peers would select me as the group leader/manager. As a leader, your group usually reflects your leadership – that’s important. If I was part of a group or when I was student rep, I had to set an example. I didn’t necessarily change who I was; I maintained the qualities I had. Organisation, time management, work ethic and communication skills are all very important qualities to have – those of which I developed as time went on.

Being a leader at work

Seniors at work are everyday leaders. They motivate and inspire their workforce, they communicate with them daily, they are the creators of the environment they hire employees to work in. They have massive responsibility. You don’t necessarily have to be the head of department to be a leader, you can be a leader by your actions. Turning up on time, being organised, lending a helping hand, giving advice, being vocal in meetings, receiving feedback positively and then using it to improve your work. These are all things you can do to evolve into or be seen as a leader.

This was the attitude I had when I joined my first permanent job. I went from work experience placement, to executive, to manager. My attitude upon joining was that I knew I wouldn’t be receiving a permanent job out of this (because previous interns didn’t) so there was no pressure in a way. I wanted to show the skills I had learnt from a previous internship and apply them in this role. If I wanted a future reference, I had to impress them and show a good attitude.

From May 2017 to December 2017, It was great. The work we produced was fantastic, the working environment was positive and I was comfortable. It was an honour for me to lead the marketing department to a “Marketing Impact Of The Year Award” by the RDLC in January 2018. One of my proudest moments, I still have the award in my house.

 My first real taste of managerial responsibility was when we decided to hire interns to help out with the marketing duties. I had to find, interview, recruit and then train the interns, who would spend three months with us. This was a big change to being student representative, and although it wasn’t easy at times, I certainly evolved and developed many of my skills.

Now, I wasn’t just concerned about my performance, I also had young interns to guide and teach. I enjoyed being a mentor, I could pass on guidance and tips to those who’s position I had been in previously. I tried to create an open, friendly, collaborative but productive working environment.  

Challenges that come with being a leader

As I mentioned before, being a leader comes with privilege; but there are also challenges you have to face and accept. One of the great challenges of being a leader is decision-making.

Your decisions may not be popular with everyone, but you’re doing it because it is the right thing to do. That should be your main priority. If you’re someone who doesn’t like to take responsibility or lead by example, then you will undoubtedly face issues as a leader. Knowing how to deal with a team is also very important. A team will have various personalities – how do you accommodate all of them? What is your communication like? How do you settle a dispute? These are all qualities you will be tested upon.

Depending on the profession, role, industry or circumstance, being a leader is not always about being liked or the most popular. One of the biggest challenges you could face and I came across was discipline. There are times where your responsibility (depending on your position) will mean you will have to make decisions that won’t be at the benefit of the person(s) in question.

Being a manager can be tricky at times when you’re having to address any issues you come across. This may be late-comings, attendance, attitude – you name it. I hated having to tell someone off, or express my disappointment with someone, but sometimes it had to be done. Although, how you handle the situation will say a lot about you as a leader.

 

Tips for leaders

If you’re in a leadership position of any sort, here are a few tips to help you keep your ship under control:

Communication is key: Good leadership requires good communication. Leaders must be able to communicate and get their message across in a variety of ways.

Respect: You only get respect as a leader, if you give it back. When there is respect in the environment; that eliminates conflict and tensions.

Courage: This can be a tricky one. Courage will allow leaders to step up and move things in the right direction.

I hope this has helped – thanks for reading.

Richard


Submitted: July 01, 2021

© Copyright 2021 RichAfrifa. All rights reserved.

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