Leaders struggle. Should leaders share their struggles with others? Steven Snyder’s book, Leadership and the Art of Struggle, inspired this guest blog post by Becky Robinson.
Leadership and the Art of the Struggle, posits that struggle is an unavoidable and positive force on each leader’s journey. It is only through embracing our struggles that we can grow to be stronger and even more effective as leaders.
And talking about our struggles can be an important part of the journey.
But how, when, and in what context can leaders share their struggles? Is it possible to share struggles with the people you are leading?
While I think it is important to let your team know you are human and to discuss struggle in general, you want to be careful about the specifics you choose to share.
Here are three ideas to consider when sharing leadership struggles.
Dig into the past for struggles to share. Even though you may have current struggles, it may not be helpful to share those with your team. Instead, you can share past struggles as a way to highlight learning, show progress, and encourage those who may be struggling with similar issues. It’s okay to let your team know you struggle, while maintaining distance by avoiding sharing specifics of current struggles.
Record current struggles to share in the future. Every lesson you learn now can be a gift to others…later. Use a personal journal to record your lessons and growth and wait until a significant amount of time has passed before sharing the struggles with those you are leading.
Find a trusted friend or coach to be a sounding board for current struggles. Venting to team members about struggles could cause serious problems for you as a leader. Instead, rely on a trusted friend or coach who can keep sensitive information confidential.