Questions to ask yourself about your leadership attitudes
Too often, leadership is a Faustian bargain. Most leadership experts play off your ego. Few actually help shape your ego, which must be neither too large nor too small in order to manage effectively and to get out with your soul intact, according to Rob Ashgar in his book Leadership is Hell: How to Manage Well – And Escape with Your Soul. The book aims to help the reader find the right balance for his or her own life.
The author goes on to discuss a number of topics which leaders are often reluctant to consider, including:
- How you can be unaware of your own flaws when they are obvious to the people around you;
- The strong temptation to try to keep other people happy instead of achieving the organisation’s goals;
- The problems that arise when you pursue the organisation’s goals and your own agenda without adequately considering the feelings of others;
- Having the courage to recognise when it might be better for someone else to be the manager;
- The perils of being driven by a need to win approval;
- How to help others shine, rather than needing to take all the glory for yourself;
- Avoiding addiction to the power and status that come with leadership.
There is a great deal of wisdom in the somewhat uncomfortable reading provided by the author. It is usually only some time after a person assumes a position of leadership that he or she discovers that successful leadership is as much about self-leadership as it is about leading others. This book is a helpful resource for thinking through the self-leadership issues.