Visualize leadership as your favorite muscle group—in my case, quadriceps. Under a certain amount of repetitive stress and pressure, in the form of difficult decisions and conversations, it grows and strengthens. Remove any stress and/or pressure for too long, and it tends to atrophy from disuse.
Unfortunately, too many leaders find handy excuses to continue doing just that. They avoid difficult conversations and challenging people-related decisions in favor of delegating these tasks to HR staff. And, while many HR professionals are incredibly skillful in picking up the slack, that habit doesn’t always serve them, their organizations, or the leaders they are picking up the slack for, well in the long run.