Why Leading Is Tough and How To Make It Easier

black lady in light purple jacket with mic at podium making a point

by Duncan Brodie

Ask just about anyone in a leadership role what it is like and the chances are one of the things they will say is that it is tough. At some levels, leading is actually pretty easy but time after time we seem to see people struggling.

So what causes the struggle?

In reality it is not one thing that makes leading a struggle:



It might same strange but people in leadership positions are often hugely insecure. They worry about doing the wrong thing, not delivering, how they are perceived by others, to name just a few. This can result in them feeling that they need to be involved in everything and simply over-control things.


If you look at most of the successful leaders, you will probably notice that their success was actually achieved over the long term. When you are new into a leadership role you can often feel under a lot of pressure to deliver results fast. There are going to be demands both externally and internally. Everyone needs some level of pressure to stay on top of their game. At the same time, this pressure can actually do more harm if it becomes too intense.

Lack of listening

A lot is written under the general heading of ‘communication’. In reality most leaders are pretty good at written and verbal communication. The trouble comes when they have to listen. It is really easy to listen passively or not listen at all because it seems like you already know best. Trouble is that when leaders don’t listen, those around them tend to disengage and disconnect.

So what can leaders do to make leading easier?

Acknowledge they don’t need to know it all

The fact of the matter is that every leader has one area where they have in depth expertise and a whole lot of areas where they have broad knowledge. This is commonly referred to as being a T-shaped leader and what you should be aspiring to be. It is okay not to be the expert in everything.

Leverage the potential of teams

You might have heard the saying that together everyone achieves more. In other words, the results that you achieve as a leader are very much connected to the extent to which you are willing to leverage the potential of teams. Successful leaders understand the importance of teams. Make sure you are getting the best from every member of your team.

Get the balance right

Yes, there are going to be things that need to be achieved in the short term and longer term. The challenge is to make sure that the day to day operational priorities don’t take over so much that the longer term consequences are overlooked.

The Bottom Line: Without doubt leading presents many challenges. The trick is to try and make sure that you do everything you possibly can to make it as easy as you can.

About the author

To become an even better leader I invite you to sign up for my free audio e-course Leadership Success at http://www.goalsandachievements.co.uk/leaders-main.html

Duncan Brodie of Goals and Achievements works with accountants, health professionals, teams and organisations to develop their management and leadership capability. With 25 years business experience in a range of sectors, he understands first hand the real challenges of managing and leading in the demanding business world.