Setting out to find the secret to great leadership What can it be? Resilience? Ability to delegate? Will to lead? Strategic understanding? Execution power? Likeability? No. Not really. In my experience the one thing you need to be willing to do to become a great leader is to get to know yourself. There are no formulas, no magic wands, no easy wins. Just the long, dark teatime of the soul(searching) where you name the beast in order to tame it.
And of course there are a hundred different ways to do that. (It’s really not supposed to be easy, is it?) But it can be the most interesting and adventurous thing to do if you are curious and willing to push yourself out of your comfort zone. And that zone looks very different to all of us.
To some (like myself) that is not only out of my comfort zone, but in an entirely different solar system
To some people realising they need help and asking for it is no biggie. To some (like myself) that is not only out of my comfort zone, but in a entirely different solar system. And I feel I have to gear up in a serious space suit with extra padding and oxygen to go there. I believe that knowing things like that about yourself what makes it possible for you to lead other people in a way that will make them want to follow you. We see countless lists of “Ten thing to do to be a successful leader.” Really? You’ve got to be joking. How can you, a person with a different set of values, beliefs, experiences, preferences, context and so on need to do the same ten things as me? It just doesn’t make any sense. Or it does, but then the things are so generic that they become virtually useless: “Be a good listener” All right, I don’t think that one passes the negation test…
Nonsense, of course I don’t. I practice when I remember and can be bothered
So what did I do? Well, I haven’t finished yet, and I strongly suspect I never will. But I spent time, energy and money asking (and have others ask) the difficult questions. I practice every day (Nonsense, of course I don’t. I practice when I remember and can be bothered) and have made pacts with some people close to me to help each other with the blind spots. Because having someone hold you to your decisions do make it easier to persevere.
What’s your completely different solar system?