11 Tough Truths About Leadership

Ever wondered how the greatest leaders are able to handle being at the top so effortlessly?

The truth is, these highly successful people do stumble, worry, and doubt themselves, but they’ve also mastered reputation management and the way they’re perceived.

“Great leaders know that every step they take, every decision they make, matters in the end,” says author and public speaker Deirdre Maloney in her book “Tough Truths.”

“They know they must strategize carefully, then act aggressively,” she says. “They know they must think ahead — not just to their next step — but to the many steps after it.”

In her book, Maloney shared 11 tough leadership lessons that aren’t usually discussed by those on top.

It's all about politics.

This is not about Republicans vs. Democrats. It's about the politics we face every day, as 'we interact with people who have what we want and who want what we have to give.'

This is not a bad thing.

'Whether we want our boss to give us a raise, our child to stop squirming on the aeroplane, or the department store to take back our purchase when we don't have a receipt, every single interaction involves influencing and persuading others in order to get what we want,' says Maloney.

Great leaders understand the importance of persuasion and that, in addition to a great work ethic, you also have to have the 'ability to have relatable, effective, and influential relationships.'

Even when you don't think that someone you meet can do something for you at the moment, you know that they could be a significant factor in the future.

Success makes you unpopular.

When you're a leader-in-progress, you will have people supporting you, be it your boss or colleagues. However, once you start achieving the expectations that these people have, you'll become less-liked by them.

Your success has made you unpopular.

Maloney says that to be a great leader, you need to have a 'strong will and an even stronger stomach.' At the end of the day, you need to remind yourself that your job isn't to make everyone happy, but rather to improve the organisation as a whole.

You have to go beyond your responsibilities.

It's easy to go to our jobs and do the same tasks everyday. It's our responsibility and our life. Maloney says this is a comfortable, but wrong way of thinking.

'(Great leaders) don't work in existing systems,' she says. 'They change the systems to give them what they want. They come up with new options for jobs, projects, and professional development that their bosses hadn't even thought of. They see an opportunity coming their way before most of the rest of us have looked up from our laptops, and they seize it.'

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