Effective Leadership | 3 Reasons to Choose the “Hard” Path
One of the major keys to Effective Leadership is an ability by the leader/manager to choose the hard path. Hard in this case can be defined as difficult, a struggle, stretching the limits, a challenge to be met.
During my years as a High School Principal, periodically, students would come in to transfer from a “harder” honors class to an “easier” regular class. Knowing they were selling themselves short, I had a plan in place to help them try to stay in the class and grow.
I would often ask, “If given the choice between hard and easy, which will you choose?” Of course, the answer would always be, “easy”. It would be my first choice as well.
It was a 50-50 to 30-70 chance that I would convince them to stay the course in order for them to learn and grow, even if it meant a lower grade in the course.
Just a side note for those supervising up and coming employees: Many young people moving into the workforce have chosen “easy” in their schooling and their parents have backed their choices. How to get the most out of these employees is a subject for another day.
Effective Leadership calls us to step into “hard”. We do not do this just for the sake of “hard” but because we know the results. It is Transformational.
Notice the leaders you admire. They just seem to endure the “hard” well. In fact, it may appear that they thrive on the “hard”.
I would bet, deep down inside every leader who faces the “hard” longs for “easy”. If given the choice, he/she would choose “easy”.
However, these leaders have trained and conditioned themselves to not see “easy” as a choice. Here’s 3 reasons why:
Hard Leads to Something
Often, business is compared to athletic contests. Athletes train through the “hard” and experience “hard” through adversity in the arena in order to gain the “win”.
Effective Leadership is tied to working through the “hard” to create a strong organization, team, outcome, etc. Through experience, great leaders know “hard” leads to something…something better.
Hard Teaches Lessons
Many times, “hard” leads to undesirable results that many call…“failures”. Effective Leadership is taking these results and storing them as experiences.
These “hard” results teach us how to (and not to) approach situations in the future.
Hard Creates Growth
Combining the prior two reasons of “hard” leading to something and teaching lessons, creates growth.
Effective Leadership values growth. Growth of the leader, growth of the employees, growth of the company.
Leaders practicing Effective Leadership know that hard leads to growth. As you watch a leader navigate “hard” as though it is second nature, remember that he/she knows, like developing muscles, creates growth outcomes.
The leader does not do “hard” for hard’s sake. It has a purpose. He/she have seen this in action before.
As you step further into Effective Leadership, what “hard” do you need to face, step into, endure? Assess yourself with these questions:
Where am I choosing “easy” over “hard”?
What barrier must I get past to step onto the “hard” path?
Is “easy” getting me the results I want?
What can I learn from the “hard” path?
Who has taken the “hard” path that I could ask to mentor me?
Recognize that choosing the “hard” path does not always produce perfect results. Effective Leadership still calls us to step onto the “hard” path with the knowledge that the experience, growth, lessons, results…always lead to something. And that something will not be gained by taking the “easy” path.
I have been training Effective Leadership for many years. Guiding people along the “hard” path is a specialty. Set up a time for a FREE call about your path HERE. I would love to guide you. Click here for a set of topics for coaching sessions.
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