You Are Human

Enduring Leadership #6

Leaders are a strange breed.

What do I mean?

There’s something in us that doesn’t allow us to throw in the towel. 

Leadership is hard.
People are confusing.
Goals are massive.

But leadership is also fun, so you learn to enjoy the ride.

You’ll be tempted to complain. You may even raise a fist to heaven and shout, “God, what are you doing?”

Remember these truths…

  • You are human.
  • You have feelings and get frustrated.
  • Your leadership doesn’t mean you will have the perfect response at every hurdle.
  • You have to be comfortable with your strengths and WEAKNESSES.

Embrace the fact you’re human and that it’s okay to feel this way at times. Today’s struggles teach you lessons for tomorrow’s victories. The only way you get to be a better general is to fight battles—this is where you gain experience. A leader who has never faced a crisis, and led through it, is probably a leader not worth following. Learning to navigate decisions, make gut calls, and address issues in the present will help you handle the larger decisions that come as your organization grows. 

Learn to love uphill. That’s a phrase I repeat often. It’s a reminder that leadership isn’t easy, but it’s worth it. Lincoln had to learn to love uphill. He faced a congress that was fighting him on the 13th Amendment, a raging war, and critics at every turn. Even so, he had a vision of a land where all people were free and united—that’s what kept him going. It wasn’t that he enjoyed the war or the criticism; he didn’t. Rather, he knew it was the price he had to pay to achieve the vision.

Your team is watching. Those who follow you are watching how you respond to stress and pitfalls. If they see their leader is willing to quit, how will they respond when they hit a snag? 

All eyes are on you. You’re setting the example. The strength you show will give them the courage to carry on. Confess your frustrations in private, but be of good cheer in public. The passion of your team is at stake.

Finally, God is using the mess. Never doubt that truth. Trust me, I’ve doubted it a million times and every single time the Lord shows up with a moment of growth for me. The weight of leadership often drives me to my knees before Him…where I think He wanted me all along.

My dear fellow leader, are you having some tough days?

  • Hang in there. God’s got you. It’s okay to vent in private.
  • Embrace that you’re human. It’s much better than being a robot devoid of feelings and emotions.
  • Look for the lessons. Keep the overarching vision in front of you and keep marching.

Remember, others are watching, so stay in the fight. Trust Him. God’s in the details and hurdles. Never giving up is the only path to enduring leadership.


– Brian Sanders