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Great Leaders Do the STH

leadership Nov 16, 2021

If I search on Amazon for 'leadership book' - I get over 60,000 results. We are all looking for how to be better leaders, and the glorious secret of what makes a great leader. I like to think of it as one simple definition: Leaders do the STH. Leaders do the Shit That's Hard.

Not everything about leading is hard, but when it comes down to it, great leaders roll up their sleeves and tackle the ugliest problems and obstacles, they address issues head on, and they do the things we all hate. 

Nobody wants to have difficult conversations about a person's behavior or quality of work - I have never met someone that jumped out of bed and said "Yay, I get to have a terribly awkward and uncomfortable discussion today!" But great leaders do it.

Nobody wants to be on the hook for when revenues aren't met, or services aren't provided. Worse, who wants to have the conversation with the really unhappy client. But, great leaders do it.

Nobody wants to look the boss in the eye when a team doesn't deliver and say 'we aren't there yet.' And its even harder to say that and follow up with 'and I accept all accountability on it.' But, great leaders do it.

Nobody wants to think about being replaced or what will happen after they leave the organization. But, great leaders do it.

Nobody wants to spend their time in meetings when they have a stack of work to do of their own. But, great leaders do it.

Nobody wants to be in the heart of conflict, and then have to mediate the conflict within a team to be able to move forward. But, great leaders do it.

Great leaders do the STH.


If you want to be a great leader, tackle the hard stuff. Here are a couple of ideas to start implementing this today:

What is one thing on your to-do list that you have been putting off because you just don't like doing it? Resolve it today - either get it done or delegate it properly and follow up on it.

Are there team members that aren't performing where you want or creating unhealthy conflict? Create 5 bullets to frame the difficult conversation you need to have with them, and schedule that discussion today.


Photo by Memento Media on Unsplash

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