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When a person chooses to become a leader, big changes happen. 

There’s a bar that gets raised, pressure that is increased, influence that is expanded. It’s exciting for us, as leadership practitioners, to watch and play a role in it. It’s like the person becomes bigger and more powerful in front of our eyes. 

At the same time, there’s an appreciation of the magnitude of the moment on our end, as we know that growth brings challenge and complexity and, sometimes, discomfort.

To aid that journey, based on what we observe across our client base, below are some ‘truths’ that we feel are helpful for leaders to know as their leadership journey commences.

Truth 1: You will seldom have easy answers to difficult questions. Learn to live in gray territory as comfortably as you can.

Truth 2: Your every move will be noticed and people will take their cues from you non-stop.

Truth 3: Whatever effort you put into becoming a leader will pay dividends across every aspect of your life: your marriage, your health, your self-worth.

Truth 4: The sands beneath your feet will forever be shifting. At no point will everything be in place, which means that you can never stop paying attention.

Truth 5: Humans are complex, fallible and unpredictable. You can either accept this and work with it, or fight it and be frustrated.

Truth 6: Business performance is an ‘always-on’ task that will require you to get a lot of things to dance together, as opposed to getting one thing right.

Truth 7: You will need to consume information regularly to keep abreast of changes in the world around you, business and societal.

Truth 8: There will be times when you question whether leading is worth the effort. It is, but the question is a good one.

Truth 9: Unpleasant aspects of yourself will be revealed. Self-acceptance is far better than resistance in these moments. 

Truth 10: Leading is fun if you have a growth mindset. It’s hard if you don’t. 

We honestly feel that there is no more noble a journey than to decide to make people and conditions around you better than they were before – which is the fundamental role of a leader. 

It’s a special person that chooses to take on this responsibility, especially given that there is seldom a linear, clear path toward doing so. 

That challenge is what makes leadership so paradoxical: it’s enjoyable and it’s tough. That is the world we live in – including the business world: full of potential and possibility but difficult to unlock. 

Leaders are up for this challenge and that’s what makes them special. As you make your way, we hope these thoughts are helping in nudging you forward, encouraging you and making the journey more joyful.

Jonathan-Rowan Belchers

Jonathan-Rowan Belchers

“I’m driven by the truth that one remarkable leader can change the fortunes of many. And I’m committed to championing those leaders across all continents.”

With an enduring passion for high performance and exceptional leadership, Jonathan-Rowan has advanced the footprint of Lockstep since founding it in 2006. A graduate of both Harvard and Berkeley and a certified business coach, he has 20+ years in the leadership advisory sector and lectures at a number of foremost business schools. He is an artist at heart – an avid reader, musician and painter.