Bryan’s Blog: What is the hardest thing for a leader to do?

What is the hardest thing for a leader to do? Are you thinking fire people, remain calm, manage conflict, make the tough decisions?

I think it is something much more fundamental. It is communication. I truly believe communication is the single hardest challenge a leader faces. If you communicate well you will ensure the right people are hired and lead so no need to fire. Remaining calm will be much easier as you won’t need to be exasperated at the actions of others and conflict will be the domain of the lunchtime sporting context because staff will be standing side by side and near perfectly aligned with your organisational purpose. As for the tough decisions, they won’t seem as tough as you will have such clarity over your options. So if you want this nirvana, here are a few tips:

For a Risk Leader the communication challenge is to translate risk concepts into strategic or operational business concepts management and staff will understand. For that I recommend spending time understanding the business.

For a Strategic Leader the challenge is to translate strategy into operational concepts the average worker can understand. For that I recommend placing yourself in their shoes.

For an Agile Leader the challenge is to simplify strategy and risk down to the most important core imperatives that management and staff can focus on. For that I recommend you measure what matters.

While we all have our roles in organisations, sometimes we need to show leadership across the board. Perhaps the hardest thing for a leader to do is to shift from role to role AND be a great communicator in each of them.