Coach Havlik says, “Leadership IS Hard!”

Man sitting in conference room on top level of office building

I can’t imagine anyone who has ever been in a supervisory role arguing against that statement. The expectations that come with being the boss are huge! Some people excel when they’re in charge, many others fail. And why do they fail? Mainly because they can’t handle the associated demands that come with being the chief!

There are a lot of perks and benefits that come with being in charge. Some of those include:

  • Bigger salary/benefits.
  • Better parking space.
  • Bigger, better office (usually on higher floors with more windows).
  • Bigger staff to cater to all your whims.
  • You get to set the organizational climate. Your individual motivation and drive inspire all that work for you.
  • You get to set organizational policy. Your “vision” and “mission” set the standards for all to emulate.
  • Access to more information. More information usually means more power.
Woman boss helping team member

BUT being in charge also comes with a lot of cons. Some of those include:

  • Total accountability. In the Navy, I quickly learned that command was absolute.  The Commanding Officer (CO) was responsible for everything and anything in his/her command. Naval history is full of examples of COs being relieved because their ship/submarine ran aground, collided with another vessel, crashed, etc., even when they were asleep in the cabin trying to get some well-deserved rest.
  • There’s more pressure and more demands on you. When you’re in charge, you are on the hook 24/7/365. Never a break, never a respite, and never can you delegate accountability and/or responsibility to someone else. The best leaders I saw in the Navy were the ones who quickly learned to how to manage the many demands into their tight, daily schedule. The better a leader can juggle, the better the chance for organizational success.
  • And finally, it’s lonely at the top. You are the focal point for everything good/bad in your organization. If you can’t handle always being “in the spotlight,” you probably should not seek positions of increased responsibility, and clearly, you shouldn’t be in a position of setting organizational guidance. Stick with being a follower…it’s safer and a whole lot easier!

Coach’s tip(s) of the month: You asked for everything that comes with filling a leader’s seat.

  • Like the quarterback of a football team, you must accept both the good and the bad associated with being the leader. If you can’t, step aside and let someone else take the reins. Your ego and/or fear of failure should never stand in the way of organizational success.
  • Adhere to the leadership adage of putting the “best qualified” person and not your “best friend” into positions of authority. If you do, your organization will never go wrong.

That’s it for this month! See you in March!

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About John Havlik

CAPT John “Coach” Havlik, U.S. Navy SEAL (Retired), led special operations teams around the world during his 31-year naval career, to include the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, the SEAL’s most elite operational unit. CAPT Havlik was a nationally-ranked swimmer, and is a member of the West Virginia University Sports Hall of Fame and Mountaineer Legends Society. @CoachHavlik www.CoachHavlik.com

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