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The 5 key personal challenges facing leaders today

by Siphiwe Moyo


The Leadership Standard Journey is one of the most exciting projects to be involved in.  While we are excited about the historic significance of the leadership standard process, leaders must realise that there will be some uncomfortable realities that they need to face and work through if they want to grow, perform and survive as leaders. As a leader you will have good days, but you will also have bad days.  You will have to accept that leadership is in itself a continuous journey of reflection, challenge and affirmation about your role and existence as a leader.

The personal realities or challenges facing leaders today are as follows:

  1. People will question you. They will challenge and attempt to discredit you. Get used to it and be ready for it.
  2. People will purposefully create misunderstanding about you. You will be attacked or labelled for the good things you are trying to do. Mediocrity will always try to bring excellence down, but don’t allow this to happen.
  3. You will be offended, but rise above it. Managing offence is key to the success of any leader. Great leaders keep on doing good by being relentlessly focused on their vision.
  4. Leaders must sacrifice themselves for their organisations. A bad leader will sacrifice the organisation for himself or herself to drive some personal agenda.
  5. Good leaders always thrive in the long term, while bad leaders may thrive in the short-term. When you watch bad leaders, you may be puzzled why they are successful, but the reality is that they only prosper for a while. They hang on to power, while people don’t want them there. Eventually they will fall and be replaced by better leaders who will take the organisation forward. Keep focusing on long-term success, despite short-term setbacks and challenges.

Some leaders are popular in their ability to get people to follow them, even if their strategies are weak.  Real leaders are those who are able to lead by being true to themselves and their stakeholders. They will continue to persevere and lead their vision and strategy forward despite distractions, disruption and personal attacks and vendettas against them. Good leaders will simply continue to do good and build better organisations and societies. The leadership standard will provide direction, focus and motivation for all good leaders to develop their leadership potential and to be part of a community of leaders ready to grow and excel as we all embark on the journey to leadership excellence.


Siphiwe Moyo is Chairperson of the SA Board for People Practices (SABPP) and a motivational speaker. He was interviewed by Bob Mabena on South Africa’s leadership standard  on Power FM Radio Station on 15 September, a day after the standard development process started.  You can follow him on twitter @SiphiweMoyo for daily tweets about his ideas on life and work.

Leaders will receive daily updates on progress with the development of the Leadership Standard, they can use the hashtag #LeadershipStandard and follow SABPP on twitter @SABPP1 or Talent Talks on @talenttalksnet  or by visiting the website www.sabpp.co.za


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Siphiwe is the Chairman at the South African Board for People Practices, a Professional Speaker and an Adjunct Faculty member teaching organisational behaviour, human capital development and organisational development/change.


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