Stop The Guilt! - Proteus Leadership Leadership Article by Des Penny
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Stop The Guilt!

Recently I had the privilege of attending a great conference on the future of leadership. There were several reasons that it was great. Yes some of the speakers were great, but the best bit was that I was not running it and could just sit back and reenergize myself.

So many interesting things were said and discussed, but there was one that stood out for me personally. I thought that I would share and expand on it, because I am guessing I am not the only one that it will help. It was sort of one of those ‘Suck It Up’ moments!

The speaker said; “You chose to be a leader and with that choice came sacrifice”.

Yes, I did know that, but then she went on to say, “so stop feeling guilty about the sacrifices you have to make”.

This mother of three children, a busy business person and someone who travels extensively, then told us about the things that she had to sacrifice in her life, such as her time, her family, her partner, some of her ‘wish list’ etc. “this comes with the job” she said. “You cannot have your cake and eat it too; so enjoy what you have been called to do and stop feeling guilty. The things that you do everyday in your leadership role balance out many of the perceived sacrifices we make”.

How many times have we felt guilty for the sacrifices we have made without thinking about the benefits of what we do? Many of the sacrifices are far bigger in our own minds than in the minds of the people we feel we are letting down.

So Optimistic Disturber Leaders – you will need to sacrifice for the greater good. Don’t resent it or feel guilty for it. You are doing something that not many people have the privilege of doing.

Enjoy it and make the best of the moments you have with others that you care for, and in the situations that you find yourself in.

From me to you – You are doing an awesome job!

Des Penny – The Optimistic Disturber


Proteus Leadership is one of Australia’s premier leadership training and development companies. Proteus Leadership provides leadership courses and management training to a range of industries and assists organisations to build positive workplace cultures, implement change and Create Great Leaders. Proteus also facilitates a range of world-class management courses, workshops, conferences and events across Australia and beyond with the sole purpose of bringing leaders together to connect and grow.

“Our core purpose is to Create Great Leaders that will in turn build Great companies and develop Great teams.”

4 responses to “Stop The Guilt!”

  1. Kaz Braid says:

    Mmmm never thought of it that way before.

    Thanks for sharing.


  2. Craig says:

    I’ve always said to others, it’s a privilege to lead. To have the responsibility to help develop those willing to committ and the accountability to know that is your most important role. It is lonely sometimes though, in a remote place here in Broome, in a business going through massive change (Post), your blogs help me feel connected to people who understand. Thanks Des, take care….

    • Des Penny says:

      Thanks so much Craig.Just remember anything worth doing will have massive amounts of change and even loneliness but often this is when the best lessons are learned, as hard as that might seem. Hang in there and be exceptional, for you, if no-one else.

      Cheers Craig

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