When Leading Someone Seems Impossible What To Do When Leadership is Hard
There are two specific scenarios that come to mind when leadership seems impossible. They represent times when we have very little or no influence on someone, whether it’s due to a poor relationship or immaturity. As much as we try as leaders to avoid these situations, sometimes we find ourselves stumped.
Allow me to explore these two scenarios with you and offer ideas about what to do and how to think about leading when it seems impossible.
First Scenario: Poor Relationships
Within the confines of a healthy relationship, leadership is possible. However, when the relationship is poor, leadership is impossible. Dragging, tugging, pushing, and pulling is what happens when the relationship is poor. That’s not leading. If we even make it to our destination with the person we have a poor relationship with, we arrive beaten, battered, and bruised (to borrow a phrase from my mentor, Pastor Peter Rahme). We arrive traumatized, demoralized, and stressed out.
Second Scenario: Immaturity
When both people are mature, leadership is possible. But, when one person has the inability to control their emotions or words; if they are unkind or unprofessional; or if they are not coachable, leadership is impossible. The results are trauma, drama, and wasted time and energy.
I wish I could snap my fingers and eliminate these scenarios from our leadership. I wish I had the best relationships, with the highest levels of trust, and the most effective communication with every single person I lead professionally and personally. But realistically, if we are active leaders, we rarely find ourselves void of problem relationships.
So what should we do when leadership is impossible? What can you do when you’ve done everything you know and still, you cannot reach someone or influence them in the slightest way? Let me share with you some thoughts on this important topic.
When Leadership Seems Impossible
Leadership is hard, and sometimes quite discouraging. But keep at it, my friend. Leadership is also an honorable pursuit. Leaders have a chance to touch lives on a consistent basis. Let’s choose to!
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