All of us are leaders in one way or another. We all lead, either formally or informally, constantly or occasionally, officially or unofficially. But we all lead.
No two leadership situations are exactly the same, because every company, team and colleague represents a different organism, and every new situation represents a different challenge. And you, as a leader, are constantly evolving and changing as well. In other words, leadership is a constantly changing landscape, because the people and the situations we deal with are in a constant state of change.
Which means what, exactly, you ask? It means that it is really hard to get it right all the time. I am a huge sports fan, and a massive stat nerd. (Side note… Just ask my friends in our ten-year old fantasy football league. The comprehensive league stats provided by ESPN were not enough to scratch my “nerd itch.” So, several years ago, I created our own league stat package in a spreadsheet, with several proprietary statistical measures and detailed historical data going back to the beginning of the league. Yes… this is the very definition of obsession and nerdishness.)
Back to the story… the constantly changing landscape of leadership means you can get it wrong a lot, and still be doing a good job. In baseball, if you get a hit 30% of the time over a long period of time, you have a decent shot of being elected to the Hall of Fame. In other words, if you fail less than 70% of the time, you are one of the all-time greats.
I am not suggesting that a 70% leadership failure rate is what we should be shooting for. But I am suggesting, that you may read a situation entirely wrong, make a major miscalculation, forget to do something that becomes a really big deal, say the wrong thing, or in some way really screw things up. And even if you screw up royally, it still may be appropriate to look yourself in the mirror and tell yourself that you are doing a good job.
Leadership is hard. Success is not automatic. And when you are working with really smart, talented people, it can be easy to get out of alignment. Doing a good job and being a good leader does not mean that everything is always smooth and easy.
Anything worth doing rarely is.
Have a great day.