It has been over one week since the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced they would be stepping down from their senior royal duties. What's quickly been coined the "Megxit," displays the notion the couple is attempting to flee from their responsibilities, as well as the British press.
But as with any leadership role, abdicating it never really resolves the real issues.
Some believe that the couple is fleeing their royal obligations, as well as a very complicated and trying relationship with the press; doing so in an effort to spend more time with Meghan’s family in Canada — creating a life of their own.
It's also been speculated that the couple’s hope is to move forward with their foundations to have the freedom to work alongside efforts and organizations of their choosing.
But when you are born or married into privileged roles with designated responsibilities, should you have the freedom to escape them whenever you want? When you are granted the role of leadership, should you have the freedom to flee the expectations of your role whenever you don’t feel like fulfilling them?
In leadership, and in many roles for that matter, there are responsibilities we've been entrusted with and are expected to see through. Regardless of your level of leadership, whether you were born into it (or offered the role) there will inevitably be moments when you will want to flee it — because you are human.
As a university president, there have been occasions where I have not felt like fulfilling a certain responsibility, yet it's still necessary to put my feelings aside and fulfill my duty.
It's natural for all of us at times to want to avoid our responsibilities, but without the ability to see through one commitment, you are bound to face this urge to flee the other commitments in life that follow.
Here are a few key tips for leaders in any arena to prevent yourself from making a Megxit— building the disciplines to see your role through.
Don’t Allow Entitlement to Go to Your Head. The moment you begin to feel you are entitled to dismiss yourself from responsibilities in life is the moment you’ve allowed your position to go to your head. Track your thoughts and intentions early on and remember why you chose to take on the responsibility in the first place.
Early On, Keep Yourself Accountable. It would be quite easy for anyone in leadership or in a position of privilege to feel they're not accountable. But whether you are a CEO, the president or the Duke of Sussex, accountability is vital to stay on track ensuring you’re not simply making decisions based on emotion or convenience.
Don’t Miss Opportunities in Front of You. In the case of the royal couple, Meghan and Harry have both been vocal about the British press and their brutal treatment of Meghan’s character, history — and race.
But if there's ever an opportunity for a shift and transformation to take place in the culture’s perception of royalty, leadership, and racial differences, couldn’t it start with a royal family member who is of another race? As we face hardships and oppositions in our roles, we cannot underestimate the impact that our influences may have.
In a candid documentary about the royal couple released last fall, Meghan spoke out on her transition into the role, "It’s hard. I don’t think anyone can understand."
Although, I would imagine a few would understand.
Maybe Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, would understand.
No doubt after 68 years of reign and ridicule from the press, the Queen of England herself may understand.
If the grass appears greener, it is likely only because it requires more maintenance.
Leaders don't lead because it's easy, but because at times it's destined to be difficult, requiring much from us. If you can keep your head in the game, the impact, influence and changes you make will — no doubt — be more rewarding than any exit you may feel like making.
Dr. Kent Ingle serves as the President of Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida, and is the author of "Framework Leadership." A champion of innovative educational design, Ingle is the president of one of the fastest growing private universities in the nation. As president, Ingle founded the American Center for Political Leadership at the university and is also a founding member of the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration. Before becoming Southeastern’s president in 2011, Ingle held leadership positions in higher education and the nonprofit sector in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Seattle. Ingle is the author of several leadership books and the creator of the Framework Leadership podcast. He currently serves on the board of the Florida Chamber of Commerce Foundation. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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