The Joys of Leadership: A Journey beyond Power and Prestige

by | Dec 30, 2023 | Leadership | 0 comments

For the holidays, I thought an article that explores the less-discussed aspects of leadership that bring joy and satisfaction to leaders would be in order. How much time do you spend simply appreciating the pleasures that being a leader can offer?

The greatest way to appreciate the joys of leadership is to consider them in terms of two things: 1) our personal growth and 2) the chance to effectively assist the growth of others.

If you haven’t experienced some of the joys we’ll mention, maybe you’ll want to go for some of them in the coming year.

Experiencing the Joys of Our Own Growth

The Joy in the Fact of Being a Leader

My first attempts at leadership felt pretty awkward. Realizing people were actually going along with me was surprising. Many of us suffer from the imposter syndrome where we don’t really feel worth of leadership.

Instead, consider that since people are following you, you must be worthy in their eyes. To this day, I make it a point to appreciate the simple fact of the willingness of others to follow me!

The Joy of Achievement amp; Making Progress

Over this year, you’ve accomplished a lot. And you’re making further progress toward whatever your goals are. Some days, it feels like no progress at all. But over the year, you have made progress, probably in several areas. Make a list of them and enjoy the progress you’ve made!

Look at what you have actually accomplished. Most of us are so busy we rarely sit down to take stock of what we have accomplished. Think back to this time last year. Make a list of what you’ve gotten done since then. I know we’re supposed to be modest. But for a moment, be frank with yourself about all that you have accomplished.

The Joy of Overcoming Obstacles

Make another list. List the obstacles that you have successfully climbed over, tunneled under, or somehow gotten around. No need to be concerned right now about the ones still in front of you. After all, if there were no obstacles, leaders wouldn’t be needed!

You overcame those obstacles. No, you didn’t do by yourself, but you led the way. Just be with the pleasure of that for a bit.

Leading isn’t easy. It takes effort. It takes time. It takes being honest with yourself. It takes finding and recruiting the help and support you need. You grew yourself into the leader that you are now. Enjoy it at least for the holidays.

The Joy of Serving Others

This second part, taking the long view, is more important than the first. The experience of supporting the growth of others, of having been of service to others, offers a profound joy that can go deeper than the joy of our own growth. At the same time, it’s important to recognize that our support of others could only come about through our own growth.

The Joy of Serving a Greater Cause

Unless you are a leader of a criminal gang, the group or organization you lead is about providing some service or product that others need. Your group or organization is contributing to something bigger than you are.

Whether you’re working at feeding the poor or helping others grow wealth, it is something bigger than you. There’s joy in that which goes beyond the bottom-line. Don’t miss out on it.

The Joy in the Privilege of Influencing Others

Everyone influences others. As a leader, you enjoy the privilege of such influence to a greater degree. Yes, influence is a privilege granted to you. People have the choice of following you or not.

You can’t make them accept your leadership. You have people who have chosen to follow you. As they have granted you the privilege you enjoy, you may want to thank them.

The Joy of Fostering Growth

I seriously doubt the people you lead are the same now as when they joined you. You have impacted them. There are some who stand out from your having trained them, coached them, and/or mentored them. You may not notice the impact you had on others, but you impacted them too.

They grew as professionals and as human beings from your support. This is a big joy! Make a list of those you’ve witnessed grow under your leadership. Yeah, they had to do the heavy lifting. Still, your contribution was meaningful.

In closing, I hope this article highlighted the joys and positive aspects of your leadership. I hope it also provided some inspiration and guidance for future joys and aspiration for future leaders.

In writing this, I notice that the best way to experience the joys of leadership see it as not from a position of power, though that can have its ego thrills, but from a position of service. Leaders who serve enjoy themselves more. They are good people!

Have a glorious holiday!

✧✧✧✧✧

Michael F. Broom, Pd.D., CEO, Center for Human Systems

Michael Broom is an organization psychologist of 45 years of experience with all kinds of people and organizations. He is the author of The Infinite Organization, and Power, The Infinite Game.

Formerly of Johns Hopkins University, he is a Lifetime Achievement Award honoree of the OD Network.

Contact Dr. Broom for a free hour consultation at chumans.com or email him at michael@chumans.com. You’ll be surprised the difference a single hour can make!

Check out his wonderfully valuable intensive programs and two-hour workshops!

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