Why Become a Leader

Betrayal, failure, working excessive hours, exhaustion, worry, fear.

By the time you finish Leadership Pain: The Classroom for Growth by Samuel Chand, you wonder why anyone would want to be a leader. He has written eleven chapters that contain about 30 stories of leaders who experienced all of that and more.

He doesn’t take the easy route out, either. No simple formulae. No quick list of top ten tricks and tips.

There is no easy solution. People are people. Some lie to you and then betray you. Some betray you yet continue to smile when you meet. It happens. It’s happened to me, it’s happened to you.

What you know is that you have a vision of how you want to make a difference. And it takes an organization to make that difference. You want to build a business, a ministry, a church, a non-profit. You begin to hire people and you think they share the vision. Then someone will turn on you. Or there will be a market setback. Revenues dry up. There are big challenges.

What Chand shows is how people worked through all the crises. You will suffer some degree of pain as a leader. It is inevitable. One would hope not to suffer as his examples did. You have to have examples out on the extreme a little in order to have enough drama for a good book.

But we all get in the middle of something and discover the pain.

How you handle the pain is the key to growth and success or decline and failure. Pain is inevitable. Overcoming it is probably a myth. But we must work through it to emerge on the other side as a stronger and more energized leader.

Many people had only intellectual knowledge of potential negative side effects of leadership. Experience drives real understanding. Especially experience reflected upon and viewed as a tough teacher.

Why lead? Because we have a vision and want to make a difference. Is it worth it? Yes.

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