Program Bites: Igniting Leadership Day 1

3 July 2017 By Patrick O'Brien

Questions of Leadership

It might be fair to say that, deep down, most people would wish to make some change for good in the world – and good change requires good leadership. But most people can also see that capacity for change is accompanied by a range of challenges:

What does it meant to take on such responsibility? 

Can I lead in a way that doesn't compromise my values? 

Do I need to assume the role of fearless leader – faking confidence to bolster the faith of others?


When you ponder the prospect of becoming a leader, it's natural to ask such questions and perhaps to feel like your answers are lacking. But taking time to reflect and turning your mind to the topic, things can become more tangible. The reasons you admire certain types of leader can be that they represent qualities you can see in yourself. Taking on responsibility could have been just as daunting for them. They could stand out because their values have required a different style of leadership that you admire. They might communicate their fears, inspiring faith in others that such fears can be overcome. 

Sometimes, however, the opportunity to lead might be more responsibility than one can bear. It might call on them to compromise. It might ask them to fake it 'til they make it. They can try and push through that challenge, and it might mean success, or it could lead to colossal failure.

On the other hand, they could walk away from this responsibility. And is that cowardly, or does it show a stronger sense of conviction for what is the right course to take? 

Everyone has their own values and their own thresholds for compromise. And perhaps the understanding of one's weaknesses is better tool for leadership than relying upon known strengths.