Side Effects of Leadership: Have You Got the People Skills to Succeed in Business?

Leadership Businessmen Suit

Being promoted to, or assuming a leadership role is more than likely to be seen as a major and positive development in life. Power, recognition and in most cases more money come with leadership roles. Friends and family will congratulate you, fulfilment will be anticipated and you’ll look forward to having the authority to implement your personal vision for success. Also comes considerable difficulty and trouble. There is a dark side of leadership and responsibility in today’s society. Hierarchy is important and unavoidable and those at the top have a duty to stay in touch with the needs of the masses. Leadership is an achievement and reflective of a high standard of abilities within any given field but if you cannot deal with the side effects of status, your role could be in jeopardy. It is ingrained within us not to make it easy for those in positions of power. Here is what you must be prepared to deal with and stay on top of, in order to prove your worth in a leadership role.

Be Prepared to be Misunderstood

Being misunderstood. One of the most frustrating and stressful things that can happen in the politics of communication. You’re the leader so of course it looks different to you as it does to those you are leading. Everything you say has the potential to be misunderstood. Hands on leadership is the only way to go forward nowadays but this means your flaws are on display. Leaders must have a thick skin.

Get Ready for Complaints

We don’t really tend to complain when things seem inevitable. Moaning about the weather doesn’t count. However, you’re the leader; in charge and in control. If someone has a problem you are going to hear about it. If there is a real and serious problem, all good leaders will already know about it. There will be cases when individuals in the team will feel frustrated, unmotivated, disappointed etc and need somebody to blame or complain to. This will be you. The worst thing you can be is dismissive. Take all complaints seriously and try to help or offer alternatives.

You Might be the Joke

For a long time now, it has been a part of human nature that powerful people are those subject to satire. Mocking the weak is seen as cruelty thus sarcasm and jibes are expected with the territory of being in charge and in power. Paired with the above point that flaws are on show in leadership it is important to accept that you’re likely to be an easy target for office jokes.

Company Morale Starts with You

To get to the top of your field, you will have worked very hard at a particular skill. Whatever this is, you now need to add leadership to your skills set in order to help the rest of your team live up to company standards. Morale is needed to ensure interest, motivation and dedication.

If one person shows high levels of morale, people will follow. All it takes is one person to show confidence paired with conviction that the work undertaken is meaningful and important. You have to be the prophet that displays conviction. Express how proud you are of your team and of course set a good example by working extremely hard.

Work on communication skills. Words will make all the difference in influencing. Explain the usefulness of work in a heartfelt way that will resound with employees. Morale is important or else you’re just going through the motions.

Maturation is Forever

In your commitment to the leadership role, you might notice things have changed. You don’t get to spend as much time with your family and you yourself have undergone a change. Leadership comes with pressure so you might have to distance yourself from earlier, more easily destructible versions of yourself. Not everybody is going to like this but responsibilities call for a certain maturation.

Finally, don’t give yourself too much of a hard time. Especially if things don’t work out your way first time around. Being promoted to a leadership role can create a false sense of security. You’ve made it so you must be capable. However, leadership brings its own challenges. Remind yourself that things haven’t come easily in the past before and might not now but nothing is entirely out of your grasp.

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Paul Tomaszewski is a science & tech writer as well as a programmer and entrepreneur. He is the founder and editor-in-chief of CosmoBC. He has a degree in computer science from John Abbott College, a bachelor's degree in technology from the Memorial University of Newfoundland, and completed some business and economics classes at Concordia University in Montreal. While in college he was the vice-president of the Astronomy Club. In his spare time he is an amateur astronomer and enjoys reading or watching science-fiction. You can follow him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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