Leadership Challenges: 360 Degree Edition

Good. We have covered everything that we shouldn’t believe in, or buy into – aka myths – and now we are ready to become a leader! Right?

Well, maybe it’s not quite that easy. Nobody has ever said Leadership is easy; on the contrary, Leadership is a demanding role that carries many challenges with it. In this blog post, let’s go over 7 of John C. Maxwell’s most important and difficult Leadership challenges.

The Tension Challenge. “The pressure of being ‘caught in the middle’.”  Dealing with tension can be tough when you are being pulled in many directions – you have responsibilities to those below you, as well as demands from those above you! However, the way that I personally deal with tension is to strive for congruence, and integrity in myself. This means that I ‘walk the talk’. If I am consistent with this, then people below me and above me will have realistic expectations, and will be able to ‘read’ me, which I want because it allows them to only ask questions that they know I can answer.

The Frustration Challenge. “Following an ineffective leader.” John C. Maxwell, in his experience, recommends this: to influence the leader in a positive direction, you must first build a strong relationship and rapport with the leader in question. I 100% agree with this method. The relationship is the key! It doesn’t matter how wise, or how well-read, or how clever you are at influencing your leader – if he or she doesn’t like you, they will not take your advice. You must believe in the person, and love the person, before you try to help them grow.

The Multi-Hat Challenge. “One head…. many hats.”  Q.1.

  1. The Student: in Martial Arts, in Academics, in Leadership, in Poetry, in Fashion, and in Athletics – throughout all of these disciplines, I wear this hat. The common trait is that I strive to be hungry for growth.
  2. The Coach: both in Martial Arts and in Poetry, I seek to give those who want it the same incredible experience that I had.
  3. The Boyfriend: making someone feel special.
  4. The Friend: just having fun!

The Ego Challenge. “You’re often hidden in the middle.” Q.2. I would seek to give credit in any situation where the act of giving that credit would lead to my committee members/ quad-mates growth. Furthermore, in any situation where others contributed more, in terms of direction, energy, leadership or love – then that person deserves the credit.

The Fulfillment Challenge. “Leaders like the front more often than the middle.” Q.1.

  1. Pro: you receive credit for the success of your organization.
  2. Con: you receive blame for the failure of your organization.
  3. Pro: you gain position, and thus, authority.
  4. Con: you gain high amounts of responsibility.

The Vision Challenge. “Championing the vision is more difficult when you didn’t create it.” Q.3. Seeing as I am applying for the Program committee again this year, I am going to be make sure that the entire committee has the commitment to excellence as last year. Furthermore, I have to accept that sometimes, the vision must morph to fit the needs of the many, as opposed to just me.

The Influence Challenge. “Leading others beyond your position is not easy.” As an Instructor at Yuens, I am often called on to accomplish tasks or lead people in ways that extend far beyond my position. However, I make it work because I have influence beyond my position, due the length of time I have been an Instructor and my personable personality. This allows me to have influence, and thus, lead those beyond my position.

Leave questions and/ or thoughts in the comments!

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