3 Critical Challenges Leaders Face

3 Critical Challenges Leaders Face

The primary challenge and responsibility of leadership essentially comes down to a problem solving role. The responsibility of virtually every leader should be to steer clear of, eliminate or totally avert problems. Whenever the unavoidable problems do come up, it’s a leader’s responsibility to convert those problems in to opportunities. Regrettably many leaders these days are totally incompetent with regards to solving some of the least difficult problems. This article focuses on the  3 critical challenges leaders face that are most important in helping them deal with and solve the many different types of problems they will face as a leader.

The first critical challenge of leadership is focusing on people.

People matter most, and that includes you. In one sense, you are the person that should always matter most. You must nurture and develop yourself as much as you nurture and develop others. To be a good leader you must first be on top of your own game.

After yourself, others matter most and it is important that you always demonstrate that. You make others feel like they matter when you do several things consistently. Always recognize and celebrate their efforts and progress, even when the outcomes fall short. People often feel frustrated when they are constantly pressed for more without ever receiving recognition for the efforts and progress they have already accomplished.

Good leaders recognize and show appreciation for good talent. One way this is done is by highlighting the talents and skills a successful person uses to accomplish their goals. Don’t always just focus on the end result. Talk about what they do to succeed and what makes them uniquely different. This will show you’re appreciation to them and encourage others. More importantly, honor great character qualities, not just their performance alone.

Encourage the discouraged. Sometimes people for various reasons just aren’t on top of their game and they become stagnant or discouraged. When this happens you have to give them a push or even throw them a rope. You constantly have to be developing your people, not just their skills. You have to constantly be thinking of the total person.

The second critical challenge of leadership is articulating the objective.

You have to be able to make what’s obvious to you obvious to everyone else. Always make clear even what should be the obvious. This is done through repetition. Things that get repeated get remembered, and things that get remembered get done. So, say it again and again.

The same is true when asking about something. Make it a habit to ask more than once. Things that get asked about repeatedly also get done. Once the goal is accomplished, celebrate it and give recognition.  Its human nature to love to be recognized; and, a sincere compliment can go a long way toward motivating anyone. People remember things that get done repeatedly and when accomplished get celebrated and recognized. Otherwise, things become irrelevant.

The third critical challenge of leadership is to narrow your daily focus.

In narrowing your daily focus, you should recognize the importance of your surroundings. Unnecessary distractions will rob you of time quicker than anything. Always be aware of the value of your time and how important it is to not get distracted by things like the phone, email, people or anything else that will steal you time.

Don’t get overwhelmed! Remember the old saying “you eat an elephant one bite at a time”. It important not to take on more than you can accomplish effectively. The quality of your work should always trump quantity.

In the normal course of life, your opportunities and challenges will always exceed your resources. You will have to deal with many different problems, processes, and procedures that won’t always fit neatly into your day. In the middle of all the chaos you must choose your daily priorities and tackle them in their prioritized order, which should always include doing something each day that moves you closer to your objective. Narrowly focusing on your daily objectives will help to assure that you accomplish them. Always set and achieve daily goals.

Ultimately people are the key to the success of any organization, team or business.  They come in all kinds of stripes from all kinds of backgrounds. Sometimes you have to coddle them, sometimes prod them and sometimes just give them some space. In the end, it all comes down to a leaders who can communicate objectives clearly, keep people focused on specific daily goals and then recognize and celebrate their accomplishments.

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