There’s an ugly secret about being a boss that they never tell you … until it is too late.
Those who aspire to be a boss think about the freedom and the possibilities of leading people somewhere great!
There is something to that because Leadership can be fun, rewarding and freeing.
But it can be lonely, gruelling and tough and you best have thick skin. You’ll need it.
Here are the four lonely truths of being the boss:
- You are not your own boss.
When asked what it was like to be the highest public official in the land, a former Premier (State Governor for my US friends) reflected for a moment and then said that his biggest surprise was when he reached for the levers of power, only to discover that they were not attached to anything.
I wanted to be the boss, but what I soon learned was that all bosses have a boss. And even when you are the boss, there is no guarantee anyone will do what you want them to.
- There is pride in being a boss but little glory.
When you are in charge of a team that is fit, smart and achieving great things, there is nothing but pride and sharing the praise. But when things turn to crap you are suddenly the loneliest person in the world.
We, the team, achieve greatness! I as the boss am solely responsible for failures.
- Work-life balance is a myth.
Being responsible for the lives of people and your team’s success while seeking work-life balance is a huge challenge. Work becomes your life.
When you are at home, in the yard, at a soccer game or getting ready to go to bed, you’ll be thinking about work. You’ll wake, feeling utterly alone, in the middle of the night worrying that you should have handled something better.
- Someone won’t like you.
The hardest lesson for me was this: You CAN NOT be a people pleaser: foes are made, and feelings will be hurt.
For most of us, it’s a tough thing to realize. Of course, you will have supporters. But there will always be people who won’t like the way you do things, the decisions you make or the direction you’re headed in.
What is the one thing you can do about it?
The hard truth is that there will be days when it will take everything you have to put on a smile on and to tell the world that things are cool.
For heaven’s sake make it easier on yourself and don’t do it alone.
Becoming the Boss doesn’t mean that you suddenly have all the answers and there is room for growth for everyone. Find an outside confidant, a mentor or a coach.
At one-time coaching was perceived as ‘remedial’ or as an airy-fairy spiritual experience. No longer!
Get a leadership coach and start thinking of it as something that improves performance and personal accountability.