#125 – Reluctant Leaders Speak Out

Last week’s post on the “reluctant leader phenomenon” seemed to hit home with people who have mixed feelings about their leadership. Here are some of the thoughtful and discerning comments I received.

Food for Thought ~

“I am probably one of those reluctant leaders you talk about. Factors 1 & 2 apply to me. I will investigate further to uncover deeper aspects of these factors. Thanks for pointing them out.”

“I am aware of this pattern and it has followed me for a long time until I understood my role in it.”

“I’m painfully aware of my incapacities. However, that in itself isn’t the biggest problem, it’s the idea I have about it being “wrong” to possess limitations in the position of leadership, and that expresses itself as embarrassment. There are perceived incapacities and real ones. Neither may necessarily keep me from fulfilling a leadership role, but they each require a different sort of treatment to pass through to acceptance. One requires inner work to learn my real motives for creating false or irrelevant issues. The other requires learning self-acceptance for my limits, as well as a practice of honesty and self-acceptance, openly, without embarrassment. The latter is so much more difficult, but full of rich rewards.”

“I’m a reluctant delegator. I feel I’m not worthy to ask others to do things that I either don’t have time to do or don’t wish to do. And, I’m so busy, I don’t take the time to think of how I might be able to delegate…that takes considerable time and thought. Being too busy prevents me from being the strong leader that I am capable of being, and, more importantly, the process is exhausting and then I hide behind the negative result.”

“I would respectfully like to submit a 5th alternative: burnout (running on an empty gas tank from doing too much). It can happen to any and all of us if we don’t watch ourselves and try to do everything.”

Thank you, readers, for these insights. Self-awareness and self-acceptance are key to addressing this issue. If it applies to you, please do so, because effective leaders are needed everywhere I look – families, communities, organizations and beyond. Begin wherever you are.