Advantages and Disadvantages of Being a Leader: A leader is a person who guides, directs or takes charge of a project, organization or group of people. It is a role that requires one to manage the resources available, whether it is human, financial, or otherwise to ensure that they are effectively maximized for the best results. A good leader develops a strong public image for their organization and followers while establishing a personal reputation as someone who can be entrusted with critical duties.
Being a leader can be a thrilling affair complete with lots of benefits but this role can also prove to be mentally and physically exerting. As a leader, the overall success, motivation and drive of your followers or organization is dependent on you. You are always in the public eye and the subject of continuous criticism. Play your part well and you are tagged a hero; falter in your steps and you are branded an imposter and an idiot!
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Advantages and Disadvantages of Being a Leader
Leadership is a task that demands the leader to strike a balance between inspiring their followers to perform well and performing well themselves. This is because everyone is looking up to the leader as a standard to be emulated.
There are several pros and cons to being a leader. In this blog post, we shall analyze a number of these up and down sides and even recommend a thing or two about how to manage the disadvantages that come with leadership roles. First, let’s find out some of the advantages of being a leader.
Advantages (Merits) of Being a Leader
Some of the perks of being a leader are:
1. An Opportunity to Impact/Influence People in Your Sphere: Leadership usually involves the leader inspiring the followers and ensuring that they are satisfied and have faith in the leader’s ability to take them far.
As a leader, you get the chance to motivate people to be better versions of themselves, to work as a team, to find dignity in their labour and all these can be fulfilling especially when your followers take your advice and follow your examples to improve on their work and their life in general. They’d look at you in a different way, as someone of great respect and intelligence.
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2. Realization of Your Vision: Their are some plans or goals that you may have but which you cannot bring to actualization if you remain in a followership position. Being a leader affords you the uncommon opportunity and platform to bring your lofty plans, vision and dreams to fruition. It is a position of power and authority where you have a slew of resources at your beck and call to realize your full potentials.
Take for instance, the presidents of different countries of the world, when they come into office, they draw up agenda or vision that they hope to achieve in the course of their administration. Everyone is expected to key into the administration’s vision and ensure that all they do is in line with it and for the realization of the common goal.
3. Receive All the Accolades/Rewards: It is the leader that is seen at the end of the day. All the work put in by the team or followers is for the actualization of the goals set by her. The leader bears the brunt of it all when all is said and done.
When things go well, the leader gets to accept the awards and accolades for a job well done, for managing the organization effectively and spearheading the affairs to ensure that the set goals were achieved.
All the followers may not get the chance to get onto the stage to receive the awards, it is the leader who goes to represent the group and take photographs with important personalities.
4. Access to Other Leaders: Being a leader means that you get to rub shoulders with other leaders like yourself. Some of them many even be more successful than you. You have the chance to learn from them and your relationship with them can open doors of opportunities not just for your organization or the group you are leading but also for your personal ambitions. Leadership allows you to network with other leaders from numerous walks of life.
5. Respect of Your Peers: A leader is the first among equals. As much as leaders are encouraged to be servants, leading by example and all, a leader still commands the respect and reverence of the followers including that of her peers.
A successful leader is treated with even more dignity and admiration. Everyone understands that it is not an easy task to manage other people and that the job of a leader can be a lot to handle thus they are wont to give respect to who it is due when the leader performs well.
6. Decision Making: Leaders get to call the shots when it is time to make critical decisions on which policies and plans are to be followed and how they will be implemented. Getting to make the final decision is a exciting chance to showcase your intelligence and prudence. You also know that no matter what everyone else says, you have the final say.
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Disadvantages (Merits) of Being a Leader
On the flip side, there are some demerits to being a leader. They include:
1. The Burden of Decision Making: A leader gets to make the big decisions that can make or mar the organization. Also, the outcome of the implementation of the decision will affect how people view the leader afterwards. A reckless decision can have very drastic ramifications for the organisation. Also, if you choose to be extra careful in making your decisions as a leader, you’d have to do it the hard way: consulting relevant authorities on the issue at hand, studying facts and data, and so on and this can take a lot of time and energy.
It is important that you know when to take quick decisions so as not to adversely disrupt the flow of work and when to take your time before you give your final go ahead on some matters.
2. Constant Criticisms and Feedback: You are certainly going to get a lot of criticisms from your followers or team members on the decisions and policies you make. From constructive criticisms borne out of a desire to clarify misunderstandings and make relevant contributions to irrelevant criticisms fashioned to witch hunt and ridicule you, there is no end to what you will hear about how you do your job as a leader.
Additionally, a leader is mostly on the receiving end of tons of feedback about how the organization or team he or she heads is faring. There may be a dedicated forum or platform for customer service or response but directly or indirectly, the leader gets some of the feedback because they are necessary for making future decisions. All of these can be overwhelming at times.
You can manage the situation by getting someone on your team or setting up a system to collect the criticisms and/or feedback, sift through them and only present you with the relevant ones that can be beneficial to your work.
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3. Loneliness/Isolation: The separation from your peers at work or in the organization as a result of your new role as a leader can have some adverse effects on you. One is the likelihood of feeling lonely and all shut up in your hallowed castle of leadership. It is even worse when your followers or colleagues have a bad impression of you and decide to avoid you instead of approaching you to discuss the problem.
This can easily be avoided or remedied by maintaining a close but defined relationship with your group or followers. Keep an open- door policy where your followers know that you are willing and ready to hear their grievances and maintain a cordial relationship with them.
4. Accountability: No matter how ordinary your leadership role may be, you, the leader, are always held accountable for the outcomes and decisions of the group. You face the risk of leading your team or followers astray and getting blamed for it. That is why you must critically consider the possible ramifications of decisions and have the willpower to go against the majority if you are certain that they are going the wrong way.
You are seen by all as the major influencer of whatever happens in the group. It is important to understand that mistakes can be made and you won’t have it good all the time. So when push comes to shove, keep a level head, do your best and be willing to accept and manage whatever the outcome of your decision may be. Be sure to celebrate your wins too!
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5. Failures are Public: Know that when you fail as a leader or your decisions or plans do not work out well, everyone is going to find out and you won’t have anywhere to hide your face.
Decisions taken by you in private will be met with public ridicule when they fail. Be prepared for situations like this knowing that life comes with ups and downs. You cannot have things smooth all the time. You win some, you lose some.
While leaders are regarded with respect and leadership is seen as a position of prestige, the role of a leader is laden with lots of pressure. You must brace for the potential stress that you will face if you are looking to get a leadership position.
Being a leader has a number of advantages: from having more control and being in charge of decision making to enjoying the opportunities and leverage afforded by this noble position, being a leader can be an enjoyable role. Whatever the case may be, enjoy yourself while you are on the job and put in your best.
Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka ACMC, is a Law Student and a Certified Mediator/Conciliator in Nigeria. He is also a Developer with knowledge in HTML, CSS, JS, PHP and React Native. Samuel is bent on changing the legal profession by building Web and Mobile Apps that will make legal research a lot easier.