Leadership Inside Out

Issue 27

When leadership feels hard

May 12, 2024

Hi Reader,

I’m talking with leaders across the social impact space and I’m hearing some common themes emerge.

Leadership is hard and it is definitely feeling less fun than they hoped.

I’m hearing:

I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to create change, to be a different type of leader, to create a healthy organization.




I didn’t want the sleepless nights worrying about covering payroll.


I didn’t want to feel like I’m constantly failing my team by not having the answers or the capacity to show up like the leader I imagined.


I’m tired of trying to be a good leader and wondering if my peace and wellness is just the cost of wanting to create change.

Precarious – photography by George Die Bold

Emotional exhaustion is NOT the cost of being a caring leader.

Burning yourself out is NOT creating the sustainable energy or impact you want.

You already have the skill of imagining something better for your community. You know in your bones the impact you could make if you found a way to lead without all the exhaustion …

Now is the time to begin imagining a better way of approaching leadership.

You do NOT need to sacrifice your wellbeing in order for you to be a good leader.

Your mental, emotional, and physical wellness is, in fact, what fuels your ability to lead differently.

You can be caring AND effective.

You can be human centered AND financially sustainable.

You can be emotionally engaged without chronic compassion fatigue.

The old ways of leadership that prioritized hierarchy and control are not working.

You already know this.

But there are habits, ways of thinking, and deep beliefs that keep you from leading differently. They block the joy and organizational benefits of being a different kind of leader. There are skills to develop.

Bridging the gap between knowing how you want to lead and actually embodying a new approach is the work that happens inside coaching.

The more aware leaders are of the mental models driving their behavior, the more impact they can create.

I support your desire to end sleepless nights, chronic stress, and stumbling down the road to burnout.

Your mission is too important. YOU are too important to let old ways of leadership drain your energy and power.

You’ve got this!

Reflection Questions:

  • What beliefs are you ready to let go of in order to step into a new type of leadership?
  • What is influencing your current thoughts on what a leader looks like?

Podcast Highlight:

Adelante Leadership Podcast hosts, Tiana and Peter are co-conspirators in furthering the conversation about Leading Differently. I align with their desire to elevate culturally rooted community leadership. I love their mission to “encourage others to step into their power, to act on their vision, and make the world a better place for their community, family, and future generations.”

It was an honor to sit down with them and share my personal story of stepping into my power as a Chicana leader.

Con Amor, Sonya​

P.S. Servant leadership is far more expensive than self-sacrifice. Book a discovery call for an inspirational conversation about how your leadership could be generative and joy-filled. I want you to access sustainable energy and leadership effectiveness that brings you joy.