All leadership is temporary. It will eventually come to an end. Then the mantle of your leadership will be passed to someone else who will soon change many of the systems and processes you implemented. Regardless of your area of discipline, this is simply the reality of leadership.
This past September President Barack Obama was interviewed Britain’s Prince Harry on BBC Radio 4’s Today program as part of the Invictus Games. Regardless of what you think of President Obama’s politics, he provided some incredible insights into his post-presidency leadership.
As I read a USA Today article detailing their conversation, I gleaned 11 Things Leaders Will Miss When They Are No Longer Leading. All comments are from President Obama.
- Leaders Will Miss Having A Certain Level Of Authority When They Are No Longer Leading – “I have to rely more on persuasion than legislation.”
- Leaders Will Miss Their Team When They Are No Longer Leading – “I miss my team.”
- Leaders Will Miss Their Level Of Influence When They Are No Longer Leading – “Everything you do every day you know can affect millions and billions of people in some cases”
- Leaders Will Miss The Intellectual Challenge When They Are No Longer Leading – “to have really smart (people)”
- Leaders Will Miss Having That Level Of Focus And Intentionality When They Are No Longer Leading – “focused people”
- Leaders Will Miss The Nobility Of Leadership When They Are No Longer Leading – “who are there for the right reasons”
- Leaders Will Miss Having A Team They Trust When They Are No Longer Leading – “who over time have built up trust”
- Leaders Will Miss The Support Of Others When They Are No Longer Leading – “have learned to support each other”
- Leaders Will Miss Having People Rely On Them When They Are No Longer Leading – “rely on each other, I miss that.”
- Leaders Will Miss Fascinating And Rewarding Work When They Are No Longer Leading – “I miss the work itself because it was fascinating and rewarding”
- Leaders Will Miss Doing Work That Benefits Others When They Are No Longer Leading – “you knew that even if the politics of a certain issue didn’t always work out well that by doing a good job there was somebody out there”
These are the perks of leadership.
I also found it interesting what President Obama did not say he would miss:
- The Press
- Sleepless Nights
- Time Away From Family
- Hard Decisions
These make up just some of the price of leadership.
What is one thing you will miss when you are no longer leading?
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