Good Leadership Is Going to Cost You

Leadership is expensive. Costly. Cheap leadership is never good leadership.

Here are seven high costs of good leadership:

1. Personal agenda.

Good leaders give up their personal desires for the good of others, the team or the organization.

2. Control.

What you control, you limit. Good leaders give freedom and flexibility to others in how they accomplish the predetermined goals and objectives.

3. Popularity.

Leading well is no guarantee a leader will be popular. In fact, there will be times where the opposite is more true. Leaders take people through change. Change is almost never initially popular.

4. Comfort.

If you are leading well, you don’t often get to lead “comfortably.” You get to wrestle with messiness and awkwardness and push through conflict and difficulty. It’s for a noble purpose, but it isn’t easy.

5. Fear.

Good leadership goes into the unknown. That’s often scary. Even the best leaders are anxious at times about what is next.

6. Loneliness.

I believe every leader should surround themselves with other leaders. We should be vulnerable enough to let others speak into our lives. But there will be days when a leader has to stand alone. Others won’t immediately understand. On those days, the quality of strength in a leader is revealed. This one should never be intentional, but when you are leading change … when it involves risk and unknowns … this will often be, for a season, a significant cost.

7. Outcome.

We follow worthy visions. We create measurable goals and objectives. We discipline for the tasks ahead. We don’t, however, get to script the way people respond, how times change or how the future unfolds.

As leaders, we should consider whether or not we are willing to pay the price for good leadership. It’s not cheap!

I’ve identified seven costs of leadership. Help me identify a few more.

What costs of leadership have you discovered?  

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Ron Edmondson
Ron Edmondson is a pastor and church leader passionate about planting churches, helping established churches thrive, and assisting pastors and those in ministry think through leadership, strategy and life. Ron has over 20 years business experience, mostly as a self-employed business owner, and he's been helping churches grow vocationally for over 10 years.