I was reminded about an important dimension of leadership today. To lead as you. Sounds pretty simple. Here is the distinction. Don’t try to be an “ideal” leader. Be as ideal a leader as you can be. I am a great advocate of learning the most effective ways to lead – because those ways are respectful, generous and very humane. The ah-ha here is to lead in your own style. Bear with me.
It began with a discussion of my days of being a manager – I was more “command and control” type than anything in those days. I’ve learned a lot since then and have roundly rejected the characteristic of leadership I once embodied. I was talking with my mentor today and he asked what it was about me back then that was really good leadership – natural skills I could use today…just using a healthier intention. Did I mention that “back in the day,” it was all about me? Scott’s point was if I used the same skills and made it about others (and not be greedy) some competencies I turned my back on might be useful.
Enough about me…the ah-ha was about a leader I’ve been working with. I realized in Scott’s question that I was pointing her to become a different type of leader. She is an introvert and won’t become an extrovert – so that type of leadership isn’t in the cards. But what if I help her find her leadership in her own style…to lead more like herself? There are wonderful things for us to explore…to point her toward becoming more powerfully herself rather than a weak replica of someone else. We haven’t been doing bad work…just not as good as we might have. No problem. We can head another direction. I bet it will be easier. Thanks, Scott.