In everything that you do, there are both pros and cons. That is true when it comes to choosing to be a leader or a follower. But, did you know that you can be both? Some of the very best leaders are those who know how to step out of the way and let others shine. They know how to play to someone’s strengths and weaknesses, how to take the lead, and when necessary, how to get out of the way.
“I am reminded how hollow the label of leadership sometimes is and how heroic followership can be.” ~ Warren Bennis
Advantages of Leadership Include:
Improves your well-being/flourishing. It takes a decent amount of energy to be someone you’re not: the deceit; the energy to maintain a facade and connect make believe dots drains one’s well-being. Thacker says in her book The Art of Authenticity, “The authentic are brave enough to be themselves despite all of the fear within as well as all of the fear in the atmosphere.” When you stand strong in who you are, you build more meaningful relationships. You do work that is strongly aligned with your skills and strengths. These are positive contributors to your sense of well-being.
Strengthens your relationships. When we have the support of others, we have a greater shot at being successful. We need the emotional support of others to pursue goals that stretch us. Emotional support is easier to come by when we have strong relationships. Strong relationships are built on respect and belief in the other person. Trustworthiness helps strengthen both of these relationship essentials.
Broadens your mind. Thacker writes that authentic leaders are truth-seekers. The pursuit of the truth comes with a broadened understanding of people and the context that influences them. Seeking the truth deepens your understanding of what is and what isn’t reality.
Sharpens your self-awareness. Today’s leaders need to recognize their limits, strengths, and weaknesses. Thacker explains that balanced processing helps a leader become more self-aware through “cognitive, emotional, and behavioral skill.” It allows you to view yourself, others, and make sense of situations with less personal bias. When we can deepen our sense of self by being more aware, we make room for greater clarity of what we can bring to a team, problem, or even a relationship.
Disadvantages of Leadership
Time is Money: One reason that leadership can be a disadvantage in business is that leadership itself is not a productive activity. While spending time leading and instructing workers is essential to make sure that they perform their duties well, managers do not actually produce goods or services while acting as leaders. An entrepreneur who hires a few employees might find that the time he spends performing leadership tasks cuts into the time he has to spend communicating with clients and making sales. Some owners hire manages to lead employees on their behalf, but hiring administrators can be expensive.
Clash of Personalities: Another potential drawback of leadership in business is that leaders and workers do not always see eye to eye. In some cases, workers may feel that they cannot relate to their leaders, and an “us versus them” mentality can develop. Disagreements between managers and employees may result in disputes that waste time and reduce productivity. Managers need to have excellent people skills and be able to adapt their leadership styles to mesh with the personalities of different employees.
Productivity: Leadership can be advantageous to businesses if leaders are able to delegate tasks efficiently and increase worker productivity. Good managers are able to determine the strengths and weaknesses of different employees and delegate work accordingly. Efficient division of labor can result in higher work output, which ultimately results in higher sales and higher profit. On the other hand, ineffective leadership can reduce productivity. For example, if a manager decides to keep easy tasks to himself and delegates difficult tasks to employees, it could result in suboptimal productivity.
Employee Morale: Sound leadership can improve employee morale and make workers more loyal to the company. Loyal employees trust their managers and may be willing to work harder and stay with the company when times are tough. Recruiting and training new workers can be expensive, so fostering high morale through good leadership can have an impact on the bottom line.
Note that nothing comes of a silver plate and even if it does you must still work to maintain it;