The Price of Leadership

Oct 18, 2022

I’m a big supporter and follower of author, speaker, and leadership guru, John Maxwell. I’m certain I’ve read most of his books and receive his emails regularly. Over the weekend, I came across one of his Instagram reels where he was talking about “the price of leadership.” In short, Maxwell states that the higher you go as a leader, the higher the price. What he says is so true! It got me thinking more intently about what he was saying and what I personally could learn and teach from it. After all, my life’s purpose is to grow future leaders and to encourage each of you to do the same!

Leading is simple, but it isn’t easy. It isn’t easy, because there is a personal price and sacrifice that comes with leadership. I believe this is the main message that Maxwell is conveying in this short video, as well as in his new book, "Leadershift: 11 Essential Changes Every Leader Must Embrace". The desire to lead others must come from a deep motivation to make an organization and its people better – not focus on the perks of leadership. If you are focused on the external benefits of assuming a leadership role, trust me, they are short-lived. You better know “why” you want to lead and how you want to do it. That takes sacrifice on your part. So, here are some tips I’ve learned over the years that make successful leaders step up to significant leaders:


Believe that the goals you’ve set for yourself and the organization are worthwhile / achievable. This doesn’t mean you set the target low and hit it every time - it means you set the target high and know that you may NOT hit it on the first try. It does mean that you as the leader embrace the challenge and the truth that anything worthwhile is going to come with challenges and will likely be uphill.

Lead the way. As a leader, you are asking others to follow you. There was a famous saying of “leading from behind” that became popular a decade or so ago. Nothing could be further from the truth. To lead means that you are going to climb the hill and address the challenge first. To lead is just that - to go first towards the unknown in order to get others to follow you. By setting the example, you create followership.

Stretch the goal. About a year ago, I became fascinated with mountain climbers – not to do it, mind you, but the drive and determination that comes with that sport. There are some common traits that these individuals (male or female) have, especially when it comes to mindset. These include:

1) Knowing that others “impossible” doesn’t need to be yours.

2) Train deliberately daily – what are you reading and/or doing daily to improve your leadership skills?

3) Understand that failure is inevitable, but it doesn’t have to be the end result; learn from it and adjust to try again – don’t give up.

4) Great leaders know they can endure more than they think – don’t hold back your abilities and by all means don’t let your mindset hold you back.


In closing, too often, it is our mindset that prevents us from trying the new bold thing or idea. Our self-talk drives us away from trying out of self-preservation or simple fear of the unknown. Develop the confidence in your own skills and attitudes and go for it! Start with yourself first, develop your confidence with smaller successes as a leader, and then see where it takes you! Set bold, but realistic goals. Believe that you can achieve them. Lead the way for others to follow and then stretch those goals to take yourself, your followers, and your organization to new heights!

 Now have a great rest of your day and go create your leader-shift!

 - Dean

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