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  • Writer's pictureBehind Her Brand

The Art of Leadership Longevity

Updated: Jun 5

For many years I used the analogy of being on a journey to talk about leadership. While I think it’s a useful analogy, it’s also important to say that leadership is hard.

That’s right. I said it. Leadership of any kind is hard.

And- the definition of leadership isn’t about title. We are all leading something. Our work. Our families. Our businesses. Our relationships. Our lives. Our hopes and dreams.

There are tons of leadership books on the shelves that share methodologies for how to be an effective leader. Although I read those books, there are some leadership lessons that come by way of experience that I think should be shared and talked about more often.

  • Hiring or partnering with people in hopes that they have potential may not be a good fit. While it is always admirable to see potential in someone and want to coach and cultivate it, depending on where you are on a project or in your business, it isn’t always feasible. With this in mind, hiring the right support or skill set in a small business is critical to the sustainability of the organization. There are times when the idea of someone with “potential” should be put on hold. Ask yourself if the work to be done has room for potential or does it need experienced alignment.

  • You can’t lead work or people you don’t know and care about. To have leadership longevity, it is important to build trusting and transparent working relationships. Leading well includes knowing people and understanding who they are and what motivates them. A team that takes time to know about each other will also learn, grow, and create meaningful work together.

  • Honor the moments of leadership that are still and quiet- there is an unfortunate cultural norm in the United States about how leadership is supposed to look and behave. We often honor and uplift only the leaders who are bold, vocal and exude charisma. However, leadership is also still, reflective, and quiet, which is equally as valuable. To sustain leadership longevity, make sure you are honoring the more still and silent forms of leadership and the impact that style can have as well.

  • Rest is an essential part of the leadership journey- a tired leader is an ineffective leader. We often associate good leadership with never resting, always working, and moving. The path to leadership longevity requires both sleep and rest. The best decisions can’t be made in a state of fatigue. The most productive and successful leaders prioritize rest.

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