The position(s) of leadership exist not for personal or professional gratification but for the practice of higher and deeper responsibility to others.
When a person “ascends” to the position of leader, they become a disciple to the skill and discipline of serving the greater good.
It is not easy. It is a challenge and one that a leader must rise to. Hence, “ascend”… not in terms of being higher or better than others in a hierarchical format, but rather to the increased difficulty factor of this life chapter.
Leadership is not a reward. Leadership is a choice, made after weighing carefully in one’s heart if one’s intentions are in the right place.
And if they are not, then leadership will test one’s intentions and reveal them to the leader for further clarity, humility and opportunity to choose different.
Some of us feel called to the role of leadership, however that is not imply entitlement. Even a person gifted with the talent for leadership still has much to learn, only on a different factor of difficulty than others. Gifted as a leader, gifted to be a leader, does not make one a better leader by default.
I think the greatest leaders ask themselves every single day, “Who am I? What am I doing here?” and most importantly, “Who do I serve?“
Leaders are everywhere. Numbers do not make a leader. Fame does not define a leader. It matters not if you lead a tribe of 25 versus 25 million. What matters is how you are serving your tribe. Their needs, not yours.
Yet… a leader does not self-sacrifice either, the opposite of self-gratification. Not usually. In this day and age, if a leader burns themselves out in service of their tribe, that does not serve the tribe in the longer term, nor does it actually provide healthy role modelling for happy, healthy, sustainable well-being and life. The skill to balance self-care and other care is an important one in leadership. Self-care, not self-gratification. Other care, not burnout.
Yup, leadership is challenging. It is tough. It is the most humbling of roles.