4 Hard Things Leaders Do

The hard things leaders do make them glorious.

A bird in flight is glorious. There’s glory in just being human. Stars at night sing glory.

Effortless glory is wonderful. But there’s another kind of glory that’s seen in the hard things leaders do.

Effortful glory – the glory of doing hard things – might go unnoticed.

The hard things leaders do make them glorious. Image of a tree reflecting on water under a night sky.
The hard things leaders do make them glorious.

The truth about hard things:

The hard things leaders do are uncomfortable.

  1. Confronting intentional violations.
  2. Correcting screw ups.
  3. Cutting back.
  4. Saying, “No.”
  5. Terminating someone.

Life filled with ease leans toward weakness, indulgence, and self-serving.

The hard things leaders do often go unnoticed. People who don’t do what you do, don’t know how challenging it is.

When combined with humility, the hard things leaders do:

  1. Give strength.
  2. Shape the will.
  3. Expand outlook.
  4. Enrich life.

Get comfortable being uncomfortable.

4 hard things leaders do:

#1. Receive help.

You’d rather give help than receive it, but both are necessary. Leaders who go the farthest receive the most help.

Leaders who do all the helping – but don’t receive help – screw a lid on their potential.

#2. Face criticism with grace.

Winston Churchill was criticized for his frequent visits to bombed neighborhoods during WWII. Of course, he would have been criticized if he hadn’t visited bombed neighborhoods.

#3. Serve in unnoticed ways:

Serving gives life meaning. It’s a privilege to serve even when you’re tired.

I wish I could say that serving was always easy and fun. But difficult service is often more fulfilling than easy.

Effortful is more glorious than effortless.

What would life be like without service?

It’s glorious to:

  1. Step back so others can step up.
  2. Celebrate other’s success.
  3. Develop people until they outperform you.
You might enjoy anonymity, but high-impact leaders let themselves be seen. Image of a peacock peaking.
Let yourself be seen.

#4. Let themselves be seen.

Let people see you:

  1. Learning from failure.
  2. Giving second chances.
  3. Experiencing joy.

Encourage vulnerability by practicing vulnerability.

Which of the above hard things seem most difficult for you?

What could you add to the above list of hard things leaders do?