Every leader will face difficult times during their career. Being the leader doesn’t mean that everything falls into place easily and you know how to handle things, all of the time.
If you want to be a good and successful leader, you need to be prepared for some of the common challenges that are bound to crop up.
Here are five of the problematic issues you're likely to have to deal with as a leader.
1. Challenging People
Whether they’re on your team, elsewhere in your organisation, a colleague or a client, you can be sure there will always be someone around who can be challenging to deal with. They may even have a reputation for being difficult.
When you’re the leader, this is your challenge to overcome. It would help if you were prepared and have strategies to handle whatever difficult people you face. Don't let this challenge catch you off guard.
2. Demands and Pressure
Pressure is another perennial challenge for all leaders. Everyone will want a piece of you, everyone’s issue is their top priority, and they want it to be your top priority too.
Learn to manage pressure gracefully and strategically. Don’t let other people’s expectations draw you off course. Learn to manage priorities and delegate.
3. Firing People
Letting people go is something that can be fraught with emotions and bad feelings. Develop strategies, and even a script of sorts, to help you manage these situations calmly and constructively.
Don’t fire someone in the heat of the moment. Make a measured decision in the best interest of the organisation and try to depersonalise it.
4. Giving Bad News
There will be times when you have to deliver bad news to your staff, your board, your client. Projects can go off course, timelines will blow out, or a product may be a flop. Frequently something may fail for reasons outside your control.
Regardless of how the situation came to be, a good leader has to deliver bad news in a calm, clear way that will minimise the impact on their audience while still delivering the message. This is not a time for blame or recriminations. Keep it factual and calm.
5. Dealing with Change
It is a simple fact that nothing stays the same. Your organisation, the field you're working in, the job you started, the world's problems can all change seemingly overnight.
Good leaders know how to anticipate change, so they can roll with it when it arrives and help others manage the change as well as they can.