Yesterday was Malaysia’s Independence Day and I was reminded of Seth Godin’s post about politics vs. governance.
“Politics is organised sparring about power, without much regard for efficacy or right or wrong,” he wrote.
On the other hand, he says that governance “is the serious business of taking responsibility for leadership”.
It may be difficult to gain a certain level of power; some struggle might be required. But taking on the responsibility that comes with that power is a far harder task.
The burden that comes from being a leader is heavy. Being a leader requires humility — to listen to opposing points of view, to accept unfamiliar ideas, to admit when you are wrong.
The odd thing about being a leader is that you’re also meant to serve.
In Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek, he writes, “The true price of leadership is the willingness to place the needs of others above your own.
“Great leaders truly care about those they are privileged to lead and understand that the true cost of the leadership privilege comes at the expense of self-interest.”
Not everyone is ready for that. Many of us want the power, without paying the price of being a true leader.