The same thing they didn’t tell me about being a parent also applies leadership.
Here it is, in a phrase: It’s every day.
The concept of “every day” doesn’t feel heavy. We are jazzed with starting the new thing. The new job. The new exercise program. Every day is not considered a problem. In fact, “every day” is something we imagine will be the path to success. Cue the movie montage!
Then something happens. The months and years stack up. And whatever ephemeral excitement shaped our original approach has exited the building. All that’s left in excitement’s wake is you. Plain you. Whoever you are. Your characteristics. Your attitude. Your beliefs. Your ambience. The real you.
And now you have this thing (a child, a team, a job) and the real you. And it’s still every day. And it can be a total grind.
The point is this: In any meaningful endeavor, we cannot wear excitement’s mask for long because “every day” will eventually surface who we really are.
If we understand that then we know that leadership is really about developing the technical skills *and* developing the person behind the technical skills.
In this role, who you are matters.