I speak at colleges and present “Hands-On Leadership” training. Also, I present to many young leaders on the topic of “Emergent Leadership”. I am surprised by the view of leaders sitting and golfing all day. Many students and Gen-Y leaders feel that having enemies is not the way of leadership. The challenge is that as a leader people are not going to like you.

I recall one of my earliest leadership experiences (as a young professional) I was placed as a team leader of a bunch of 40+-year-old men. I was in my early 20’s and suddenly I was in charge of 10 team members all at least 20 years my senior. Our first meeting was horrible – they just shot dirty looks and did not listen to anything I said. I was trying to be their friend and was not taking a solid stance.

Once I made the decision to stand strong on a topic and engage a challenging team member (who no one liked) I felt the wind shift. Once I made an enemy the team rallied. Eventually the team member I challenged spoke to me in my office and apologized for his behavior.

Leaders create enemies, and people will not like you for reasons you are unaware. This is a challenge of leadership.