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Hard Truths on Leadership

Kirjoittanut: Tuuli-Emily Liivat - tiimistä SYNTRE.

Esseen tyyppi: Blogiessee / 1 esseepistettä.
Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 3 minuuttia.


Over the course of the last semester, I’ve become more observant of other people’s leadership styles. Since my own leadership experience primarily involves recently established non-profit organisations, the placement of activities is largely on the board and in my opinion, the activities vary significantly when compared to a company or other business models.

An article written by Tobias Charles on Medium inspired me to reflect on my experience and share my thoughts on hard to swallow pills on leadership.


The article immediately dove in the deep end and outlined some of the main points keeping the leaders from growing: status, fear of inadequacy, imposter syndrome, ego or fear of failure.

I immediately recognized myself in some of the reasons outlined. I was truly lucky to have support on my journey as I was starting out in my teens, taking initiative in various projects and community building.

It was then that I started to realise the power of community: when we are met with new challenges, it is up to us to have courage and confidence to show up. However, the recipe for courage and confidence is support, an experience of success and positive interactions, that can nurture and create healthy growth.

I was fortunate enough to also meet people that doubted me as it opened my eyes to my weak points.

Upon reflection, I just wish that instead of toughening up I would have learnt to reflect, in order to find true errors and realise whether people were projecting their fears or insecurities on me. It is too often that we tell people in new situations to “deal with it” or “grow a hard exterior.” How could we make a change and encourage supportive environments?


#1 Everything is your fault.

While I initially did not agree, the writer explained it well further down in the paragraph: the responsibility involves both good and the bad. The purpose of this statement was to show that as a leader, you are responsible for the company’s success. The leader can largely affect the culture within the team if needed and support where needed as well as provide a direction and ensure steps are taken to go there. Additionally in the words of the author, “If you are responsible, the pressure of the team is taken off so they can focus on results.”

#2. It’s not about how good you are. It’s how good you can get others to be.

This is a great reminder for anyone in a leadership role and I agree with it fully. The leaders have been chosen since they shone out with qualities favouring the environment or situation, however, as soon as the leader is elected, the focus needs to be shifted on how they can support the rest of the team to work together while bringing out their best qualities.

I was grateful for the author’s choice of also adding the points to consider when you are unsure of the best qualities. I believe it is great for everyone in terms of reflection to consider,

What factors helped you progress?

More specifically, what in your environment / who in support / what in training and appropriate tasks encouraged you to succeed and how to improve these areas for your team?

#3 It doesn’t matter what you do. What matters is what gets done.

The main idea with this is to emphasise that as a project leader, it is your responsibility to communicate what are the priorities of the project both time and content wise and stand for them to best provide success to your company. In terms of the team, the leader can assign more time for e.g. research and development if that is an area in need of development.

4# Best case scenarios aren’t where you should focus.

Another great reminder to keep your finger on the pulse and have back-up plans ready for when things do not have the best possible outcome.

5# Being the leader doesn’t mean people will follow you.

As is with any new position, recently elected leaders may get a boost from their previous experience but are truly recognized in action. Respect and authority are created and developed with time and the more you show that you have a strong and fair approach with care for the team, the more the team respects you.

I really enjoyed reading the article as it was a great compilation of compact reminders and aspects to reflect.


Which of the five qualities impacted you? Let’s start a discussion in the comments!


Medium. Charles, T. 5 Hard to Swallow Pills on Leadership that Will Make You a Better Boss https://medium.com/@TobiasCharles/5-hard-to-swallow-leadership-pills-that-will-make-you-a-better-boss-8615f0bba1db


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