The Toughest Leadership Roles


Earlier this year Forbes magazine put out an article recently that ranked the 9 toughest leadership roles. You can read the entire article HERE. It describes the pros and cons for each role and ranks them as follows…

9. Corporate CEO

8. U.S. Congressperson

7. Editor for a Daily Newspaper

6. Mayor

5. Pastor

4. Football Coach

3. Second-in-Command of Any Organization

2. University President

1. Stay-at-Home-Parent

The two that interested me the most were 5 and 1 (pastor / stay-at-home parent).

Under pros and cons of pastoring, the article said this:

Pros: You’re seen as a man or woman of God, and what you say gets taken seriously, at least momentarily.

Cons: “Being a pastor is like death by a thousand paper cuts,” says Rev. Dr. Ken Fong, senior pastor at Evergreen Baptist Church in Rosemead, California and a program director at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena.  “You’re scrutinized and criticized from top to bottom, stem to stern. You work for an invisible, perfect Boss, and you’re supposed to lead a ragtag gaggle of volunteers towards God’s coming future. It’s like herding cats, but harder.”

Adds Rob Jackson, interim pastor at Hilliard Presbyterian Church in Columbus, Ohio: “I’ve managed people in a traditional office and also in a church—and one of the major differences between is most of the workers in a church are volunteers who will not do something just because it’s their job. Managers of volunteers must always lead by demonstrating a vision for our mission and how their work fits into it.”

Under the pros and cons of being a stay-at-home parent – the article said this:


  • Comfortable, stretchy sweat-pant uniforms. Showering optional.
  • Freedom from water-cooler gossip and office backstabbing.


  • Condescending tone in the “Oh, staying at home is a veryimportant job” statements that others make.
  • The knowledge that, if you do your job badly, you’ll be raising the next generation of psychopaths and US congresspersons.
  • While it’s been calculated that the value of your work is a whopping $100,000 a year, your overpaid CEO spouse flaunts his or her paycheck as a way of showing that he or she doesn’t plan to help around the house.
  • Even if you do your job right, the little ingrates move on and leave you with an empty nest.

I’m sure many of you that stay at home with your children can relate to what the writer describes. Joanne Weidman, a marriage and family counselor, is quoted as saying, “The greatest leadership challenge for a parent today is to be countercultural … to be thoughtful, intentional and articulate about determining what on the children’s achievement hamster wheel is good for your family and drawing boundaries around what is not. And to remain faithful to this task can provide significant satisfaction and meaning for many years … Then, the children leave.”


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