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A Most Important Leadership Question…..

A most important leadership question to yourself and perhaps to all leaders in your organisation, as you strive to build a winning culture: Is your current leadership position bringing out the best or the worst in you?

Think about this question very carefully.

Your answer may place you in one of the following three leader categories:

#1 Regressive (potentially weak & toxic) Leader:
  • I am clearly moving in the wrong direction – continually stressed, uptight, short tempered, which also spills over into my home environment as partner and parent.
  • I am moving away from being sensitive to my peoples needs.
  • At times I feel as if all I am doing is trying to please the leader above me.
  • I have also lost the desire – maybe never had it – to grow my people.
  • Every day is only – or mostly – about delivery.
  • Far too often it is about me, covering my backside, making sure I do not find trouble or it doesn’t find me.
  • I seldom find or make time for my own personal development and growth, in order to be a better leader.
  • I am mostly in reactive mode, seldom in proactive mode.
  • Now and then I feel happy and fulfilled, but this is not often enough by a long shot.
#2 Progressive (potentially Authentic) Leader:
  • I clearly feel how I am being stretched, but I equally feel or sense how I am becoming a better version of myself.
  • I know that my motives are slowly but surely moving away from selfishly wanting to be the most important person in the room, or being the boss, or having the nicest office and remuneration package.
  • More and more it truly is about the people, helping them become their Best Selves.
  • I can feel that I am becoming a better human being, father, husband / wife, member of my community.
  • I am able to understand who I truly am and what my deepest and most authentic drivers are.
  • I am being refined by way of personal attributes of patience, caring, courage and more…
  • I am slowly but surely overcoming those limiting beliefs about me and what I am able to achieve.
  • I have bad days, but these are in the minority and I recover fast.
#3 Fence-sitting Leader:
  • I feel rather neutral about the question. Can’t really say whether I fall under one or two above. 
  • My leadership position is okay, I earn well and can look after myself and my family.
  • I think I am making an impact and the organisation is happy with me. But a job is a job. I’m just doing what’s required of me.

If you are leader #2, a Progressive Leader, well done! I commend you; I salute you. All I would say is continue working consciously on being connected with your Best Self in order to progress towards becoming a fully fledged Authentic Leader. Don’t ever become complacent. Although I believe you need to take your journey to an even higher or deeper level, stay the course and see my challenge to you below.

If you are leader #1, a Regressive Leader, you have much work to do in order to reverse your course before regressing towards becoming a fully fledged weak, toxic and destructive leader. Hopefully you aren’t there already. If you are on this slippery slide because of a toxic external environment and/or boss you have some excuse/s to fall back on. However, burry the excuses and do something about it.

Focusing on the external environment for a moment, have the courage to wisely speak truth to power. Work consciously on changing things. Start with your circle of influence and expand it as fast as possible. Do this while working from your inside out. Or, leave the organisation.

 You won’t be in a position – or have the strength – to confront the external environment without also digging deep and working from the inside out. Or perhaps your challenge isn’t necessarily the environment outside but your world inside. Either way, discovering your Authentic Self, Inner-I, Best Self, then defining and committing to this version of you is crucial, important, non-negotiable and a lengthy, perhaps even life long process. As you discover more about yourself, remaining true to this person becomes your life’s mission. As you do you will live your life in the full; your impact will be maximum rather than minimum; and your happiness will also increase. It will no longer be about so called success but about your and others’ happiness and then “success” naturally follows.

If you are leader #3, the Fence-sitting Leader, this is my message to you: Stop living way below your potential! You may as well fall in category one and engage the journey I propose to such leaders. Neutral is no longer acceptable or even an option. Your leadership responsibility, the people you are accountable for and to, need a leader that brings his/her Best Self to work most days; a leader that can confidently guide them towards their Best Selves because he/she is authentically on this same journey.

Leaders #2, our Progressive Leaders, why don’t you follow the same advice, just on another level. Gone are the days where Progressive Leaders are sufficient. We need you to dig deeper and find it within yourself to do the “impossible” more frequently. We are at an impasse. Collectively leaders have or are failing fast and seem to lag behind on what society requires of them. So you are closest to offering us more quick wins. Go for it, lift your game.

Leadership is an honor; it is supposed to be that Best part inside you. Leading should make you a better person, not a worst person. We see far too much of the latter and it saddens me. Let’s change this.

Just a reminder: For more on bringing out the best in you and your people, on multiplying Progressive (Authentic) Leaders, contact me direct: adriaan@leadershipplatform.com

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Leadership Platform is a specialist leadership development consultancy, focusing on creating measurable impact to the bottom line through the enhancement of leadership understanding and engagement.

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