Being the leader of an organization – or a division within that organization – can certainly have its upside.
As a leader, you have the ability to inspire a shared vision and influence the direction and activities of
your group. You have the opportunity to build a culture that encourages teamwork, accountability,
dedication, commitment, collaboration and collegiately. You have the ability to bring about change and
increase productivity. Most important, you have the ability to bring about transformation.
With these incredible responsibilities of leadership comes additional other aspects of being a leader that
are often not discussed. These include:
Being the leader means that you have the greatest influence, but it also means that you have the
greatest accountability. You must lead by example to be an effective leader. Your actions set the tone
for the entire division that you lead. You must expect more out of yourself than anybody else in your
area. You must find a way to lead all the individuals in your organization. At the end of the day,
accountability begins with you. When things go well, you receive a great deal of credit. But when things
do not go well, you shoulder the blame for that lack of success.
Leading an organization requires the ability to make decisions on an ongoing, regular basis. Never a day
goes by when you don’t have to make a decision. Some are easy, some are complex. Internal conflicts
are bound to arise regularly. Bringing about success is never an easy challenge. As a leader, you must
learn how to address these issues, find a way to inform your decisions and be consistent with the
decisions you make. Be clear and be concise.
One of the greatest challenges of leadership is the workload associated with being a great leader. Not
only do you have to carry out the roles and responsibilities of your own workload, but you have to be
thinking about the entire organization and all the people within your group. It reminds me of my days as
a quarterback in football. Not only did I need to know what I was supposed to do on a specific play, but I
had to know the assignments of my ten other teammates on that same play. And I also had to read and
acknowledge what the defensive alignment we were going up against.
As the leader of an organization, you feel like you need to know everything. Yet, it is physically
impossible to know everything so you have to create a communication and information system that will
ensure that everybody has a good feel for the direction of your organization, understands the vision and
the goals and objectives and how their job fits into the overall scheme. If that is accomplished, it will
feel like all are working together to accomplish the common goal.