SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2009
Leadership is not for the fainthearted! Personal pain is the handmaiden of those who lead. And those who lead walk alone. They stumble and bruise, flounder and bleed from a thousand wounds in the dark loneliness of despair, setbacks, pressure and problems. No one can truly understand and empathize with their personal suffering. Leaders must bear the cross of holding confidences, delivering on expectations and being the custodians of other people's motivation. Every word and action is scrutinized without pity and the judgment is as swift as it is merciless.
Even when they make decisions in good faith their motives and fairness are questioned. They are not allowed the luxury of feelings and emotion; they are denied love and tenderness in their weakest moments. Leaders are condemned as insincere even when they've given their all. When accolades and approbation abound, praise and sycophancy obscure the pain that lies in wait. Like a cobra coiled to strike, the trauma of being misunderstood is just a heart beat away. When injury occurs the venom quickly paralyses. It takes large doses of determination, courage and generosity of heart for the leader to recover without the twin scars of bitterness and cynicism.