There is no Formula for Leadership

Despite the millions of books on the market about leadership, there is no formula.

If you're a leader and you care about serving your constituents well, you will have some sleepless nights. You will regularly face moments when you don't know what to do. You will often have to make choices between less-than-ideal outcomes, and you will surely disappoint people. You will forget to thank people you really appreciate. You will doubt your abilities, you'll feel incompetent, you may fantasize about having a rote job that no one notices or expects anything of.

All of that is normal. What sets great leaders apart from the rest isn't that they don't feel any of those things. It's that they have learned to manage their doubts, anxieties, or responsibilities in a way that's mature, in a way that actually inspires those around them, in a way that still esteems service more than anything else. "Calling" is one way to talk about this. If you feel called, pulled, inexorably nudged to say "yes" to leadership, you'll continue to have what it takes, moment by moment, to serve. If you're doing it for the perks or the acknowledgement or to satisfy an ego, you're in for a bumpy ride. You won't ultimately have what it takes to inspire and empower those around you.

I'm thinking of all the leaders I'm currently working with right now. Some leading large organizations, some leading small ones. Some in government, some in small business, some in non-profits. I'm envisioning for them a week where they feel connected to their calling, where they have what it takes to make hard decisions, to pay attention, and ultimately, to find joy and purpose in their work.