The Four Challenges of Leadership

The Four Challenges of Leadership

As Britain faces the greatest economic and social challenge of the last 100 years there is no doubt that business leaders are in for a hard ride. However the one constant is that our economic wellbeing will depend heavily on small businesses and entrepreneurs. As usual it will be down to them to continue to create jobs and prosperity for the vast majority of our working population.
It’s fair to say that these business leaders really should have help available to them. And its fair to say that, when it comes to being a leader, most of them will shout “where is this help – knowledge, experiences, emotional and practical help!” Our recent leadership survey found many directors feel isolated and lonely.

The Challenges of Leadership

With all the books, research, wisdom, advice and examples of greatness available why does every leader we have worked with in the last 25 years find the role challenging, demanding and occasionally (seemingly) impossible?
We believe that four of the real challenges of leadership are not about business strategy, investment, product development or profit margin and the like. The ‘looking in the mirror’ challenges are about ‘me as a leader’
The four challenges we constantly hear are:

• Who can I talk to that does not have their own agenda for my business?
• How do I address the feeling of isolation and loneliness?
• Where can I ‘safely’ express vulnerability?
• Where do I get advice from ‘wise’ people who have faced similar issues?

Challenge 1. – Finding agenda free opinions
As a business leader how many times have you had to listen to people who believe they know what is best for your business. We call this the London taxi syndrome. However it gets worse when the advice (often unsolicited) is given with a political end in mind. Its as if all advice comes with some sort of price tag.
Ask yourself the question- where can you get ‘agenda free’ advice?

Challenge 2. – The lonely leader
Running a business can be very lonely as our survey confirmed. Yet those in leadership roles don’t feel they have a right to experience loneliness. After all, they worked hard to land their coveted position. But it’s a near universal human response to experience times of isolation in a leadership role, after all people depend on you for their livelihood and careers. In reality, when it comes to the big decisions affecting that livelihood you will be the only one accountable for that decision. The buck stops at your door and therefor it’s not unreasonable to believe there is no one to share the burden with.

Challenge 3. – Being vulnerable
There is an interesting saying – ‘there is no comfort blanket for the one at the top of the buisness. How and where can you feel you can say “I don’t know” or “I can’t” without loosing face. Where do you turn to when fear grips you?

Challenge 4. – Finding a prophet
The public sector and major corporations pay fortunes to consultants for advice and solutions and, from our experience, rarely offers any thing close to value for money.
Unlike the big players the smaller businesses are more than prepared to learn from the mistakes of others, share ideas and discover ‘what good looks like’. The question is how do you get it and where do you turn?

A Solution!

Welcome to the Directors Peer Support Network.
We have been providing peer and professional support to directors and senior managers for many years. This has evolved into a dedicated peer support program and peer support network called the DPSN. It is specifically set up to provide professionally facilitated information advice and guidance, and peer support to business owners, directors and senior managers. It also provides access to supportive and developmental premium resources.
Our survey said 89% want to talk to someone with previous experience, 85% want someone with relevant experience. The DPSN has grown because of demand to contain the following essential elements;
• a 90 day challenging programme [click here for more information] • confidential one-to-one sessions with experienced facilitators
• on-going confidential peer support
• group workshops covering a range of subjects selected by the delegates to suit their needs
• a premium platform containing senior management resources
• access to a number of subject matter experts and specialists on demand

All this is designed to help you as a business leader to build a framework around you that will significantly help you and your business grow. For more information about how the DPSN is here to help you email

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