At P2Ex, we spend a lot of time working with Leaders, who quite frankly feel a constant sense of frustration about how they are personally perceived and how, consequently, they accomplish their goals and advance their careers.
It’s often the issue that they need more intentional practice in balancing power and authority with grace and ease. They may know what they want, but they haven’t spent the time clarifying what they bring.
It starts with self-reflection. Based on your personality and requirements, ask yourself these questions:
… Who do you admire as a leader – not just because of what they do, but how they do it?…
What kind of leader do you want to be?
…Does this season of your life require a change in style?
…Are you intentionally thinking about how you show up?
…Are you willing to commit to balancing the influence, teaming, and authority needed to power the solutions that your work requires?
As a style, being overpowering may get things done, but it doesn’t create long term loyalty and it doesn’t cause employees to give their best. Ironically, under-powering does the same thing.
Most of us want to know how being a leader works; how we can best contribute; and whether or not we matter. And we want to get things done!
Just this week I observed three “rookie” mistakes:
… A well-respected leader who keeps all the important tasks to himself, creates a bottleneck. Why? Because he is afraid no one else will do it right.
… A smart leader with lots of upward potential forces a decision too fast, creating resentment, and then spending the next hour with a colleague worried that she has upset people.
… A leader with a long list of accomplishments invites long discussions with no seeming end goal in sight, leaving their staff frustrated and confused.
When we are grounded, when we have cultivated deep roots in our work as a leader, we then can be outward facing as we work and don’t need to spend time worrying about “how we are” in the moments of leading. But we must take time to tend to our gains in leadership, and that requires time and energy, and an openness to continue to strengthen and reinforce that grounding. Goodness knows, the world always needs ever-improving leaders.
My advice this week is to take some time to observe yourself and seek feedback on a few areas of your personality and style that can strengthen your grounding as a leader. It will be worth it. I promise!