It takes a lot of courage to be a leader. To step up and step out in front of the crowd and take whatever comes at you for the purpose of building up others. Leadership really is an awesome responsibility. But what happens when, as a leader, your people (followers) let you down?
We all have been there. We expect something from someone and it does not happen. There are times when that will not really impact us much at all. But other times, perhaps when the person letting us down is close to us, when it really hurts. Maybe we don’t get mad, but we get disappointed which can be so much worse. We always share with people that the most important thing a leader can do for their people is to believe in them. Not just to tell them you believe in them, but to show them. Give them opportunities to succeed, to stretch themselves.
When we put so much belief in someone and they still let us down, now that is the hardest to deal with. Far too often, the person that lets us down the most is… Us. We can be our biggest obstacle. We can be our own biggest detractor. Our reaction to someone not living up to our expectations allows us to get let down. We don’t see things as they are, we see things as WE are. This is such a true statement. But sometimes we can use that as an excuse. That other person saw things the wrong way because they are just wrong. That is just who they are. That is certainly not leadership. At least not positive leadership.
Who in your life has let you down? What could you have done differently that may have changed the outcome? How can you change it now? Remember that it is never too late. And really reflect on this: Who really is to blame? Is it the person who you think let you down? Or is it you?