What Does Leadership Feel Like?

I just couldn’t resist one more article in this series. This last one will deal with how leadership feels — both for the leader and the follower.

Maybe it is more of a “groove” than just a feeling. Maybe it is really nothing more than leadership “mojo.” But, there is an undeniable feeling when you are called to lead and you lead well. So, let’s take a look at how it feels for both the leader and the follower.

How it feels to lead well

Perhaps here is where the word “mojo” fits more than it does for the follower. The feeling that you have when you are leading a team through a project that no one else thought would have a chance of succeeding is almost euphoric. The feeling that you feel when you are communicating clearly and communicating with passion and your team is converting your words into actions is energizing. Perhaps the greatest benefit of those feelings is that they build our confidence and reinforce the sense that we are indeed in the right place at the right time.

However, all of this so far is predicated on the fact that we are leading and succeeding. But, what if we are leading and struggling? What if we are confident in our leadership, but the results are a reason to doubt? How do we deal with those feelings?

It is here that we need to move from feelings, which may be fleeting, and focus on the tried and true leadership principles that have served us well in times past. Focus on the tasks at hand and trust that the “warm” feelings will come with the ultimate success of the project. One of the factors that set great leaders apart is that they do what they know is right and then wait to feel good about the decision. Many wait until they feel good about a decision and then act based on that feeling.[shareable cite=”Kevin E Bowser” text=”Great leaders do what they know is right and then wait to feel good about the decision. #leadership #emotions”]Great leaders do what they know is right and then wait to feel good about the decision.[/shareable]

What kinds of feelings do you experience?

How it feels to be led well

Even leaders must be followers. We all are also followers and we all have a leader that we look up to for direction, guidance, or just inspiration.

I certainly know what I want from my leaders. I know what I need. And I know how it feels when I get what I need. I feel fully resourced. I feel empowered. I feel valued. I feel trusted. I feel good. No, it feels great. But, I don’t always experience those feelings. There are times when I don’t feel that I am on the same page as my leader. Maybe it is a resource problem. Or maybe it is just too many unknowns or a lack of access to the leader to work through the course corrections that are always necessary.

“Servant Leadership” comes to mind at this point. This style of leader is most likely to generate the feelings and emotions that elevate my sense of worth and value to the leader.

How are YOU “feeling”?

Are feeling like you have some leadership “mojo” going on? If so, keep it up. Keep doing what you are doing and don’t get complacent or that feeling may be fleeting. Are you feeling good about the leader that you are following? Do you feel engaged, empowered, and encouraged? If so, then give your leader some feedback that they are leading well. If not, then share that feedback as well and work together with them to turn that around.

Leadership — What a great feeling!


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