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Uniqueness Stress Factors of Leadership

Those who lead, have a prominent position. It suggests that the uniqueness need is fulfilled – or is it? Yes, it is, but in the context of leadership those that are being led also have an input. And they, in turn, all have their own experiences with leadership, from childhood onwards. Not all of these experiences, to phrase it cautiously, are well processed.

Many people, ultimately, unconsciously expect leaders to behave in the way they are familiar with: unfair, selfish, distant, demanding, strict, rigid, disinterested, shaming, accusing, unapproachable, helpless, volatile, soft, manipulative, manipulable, overburdened – to name just a few important and destructive behaviour patterns in parents, teachers or group leaders.

If such behaviours of primary care givers were pattern-forming for employees, then leading becomes stressful: in all probability one is exposed to the conflict-forming projections of the employees. Without any intent one is misunderstood, misinterpreted, unknowingly one triggers fear and shame and very much more. To engage with all that is anything but easy. But it is particularly important to be conscious of this, so that one does not apply it to oneself (take it personally), therefore experiencing constant disappointment.

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