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people often think leading to be glorious - you're a person people look up to, a person people follow, a person revered and sometimes remembered. but leading isn't always glorious. more often than not, leading can be lonely.

one of the roles of a leader is to do what's right not what's easy. and sometimes that can mean changing systems which many are comfortable and familiar with. change is rarely comfortable. it’s also rarely embraced. so with change often comes resistance. and that resistance is often directed towards the easy target: the leader.

a leader is often responsible for taking more of the blame and less of the credit - much of their work goes unnoticed and unappreciated. they're often responsible for the workings within a team and to ensure harmony is maintained. and this harmony is often established in the discrete conversations away from the team - conversations others don't see, but conversations that are so important to making each member feel seen and valued.

in 2019, i was brought to a WNPL soccer club with the role to assist in professionalising the culture. the problem though was that many of the players at the time were not interested in this vision - their interests were in that of a social culture. so as a new member, i became an easy target. despite following the directions of my coach, players responded with eye rolls, attitude, and harsh words. none of which i felt i could address. and through all of which i wished i had another leader, the most important kind of leader, standing up to support me.

leaders, and new leaders in particular, are often misunderstood. and being misunderstood hurts. it's isolating. leaders generally want what is best for the team - they want the team to get along and achieve results. so the next time you see someone standing up trying to make a difference, can you be a leader and publicly show your support? can you be the person that makes that lone individual feel less alone? can you be the leader we all need?

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