The Most Difficult Person to Lead
I think every leader has had to deal with an individual that just refused to be led. We quickly categorize these people as difficult or problem people. As I have contemplated trying to lead difficult people, one thought occurred to me that I am rather ashamed to admit, but one that I have found to be true. The most difficult person I have ever had to lead is myself! It could be because I know how distracted I can become as a leader, it could be because I realize how easy it is to lose my focus. I could qualify as the most difficult person to lead because I am incredibly skilled at making excuses for lack of progress in my personal development when I know the excuses I have given myself would never hold up with anyone else. Yes, it is true, I can be a difficult person, and I think if we were all honest with ourselves we would admit that we have all been difficult to work with at some point.
The very nature of leadership is based on the simple truth that I can only lead and influence people which give me permission to lead and influence them. The way I handle my own affairs, the way I discipline myself, the way I exhibit character, the way I handle difficult situations, the way I listen before I speak….. all of these personal issues become the substance of leadership. It is difficult to lead oneself because when we do not meet a deadline, or we do not achieve the vision, or we do not meet the goal, we must look at ourselves first and ask the tough questions honestly before we can ever look to anyone else to connect the blame to. If you are human, this can be one of the most difficult tasks you will ever do, yet if you can learn to self- evaluate while not looking through rose -colored glasses, you will be much further down the road and you will embody true leadership. So, go ahead, lead yourself first…….and you just mind find after a while that others will begin to follow.