Leadership starts with you!
Leadership starts with you!
To lead others, you have to be able to lead yourself. What do I mean by that?
You have many parts within you...the part of you that wants to be a great coach and the part that wants to jump in and fix things when they are going wrong. The part of you that always wants to be there for your team no matter what and the part that just wants to be left alone to chill out at home with no interruptions. The part of you that is totally committed to creating success and the part that yearns to spend more time with your family, friends and loved ones. These are just a handful...there are hundreds that you could be carrying inside you and managing them is a form of leadership. This kind of leadership doesn't get spoken about enough in my opinion and you need to master this aspect of leadership first.
You have multiple parts
Some of your parts you'll be completely aware of and some you'll be totally unaware of. Aware or not...these are the parts that can lead to inner conflict when you are uncertain about which part needs to show up.
Let's get one thing straight...all human beings have a multitude of parts. They are all useful in some way. The trick is to know which one is useful in the situation you find yourself in...the part that is most likely to achieve the outcome you want in a way that's good for you, good for the people involved and good for the business. When it ticks all three boxes you will feel aligned and it's that alignment that creates a positive surge of energy which is more likely to result in success.
When you have an inner conflict where both parts of you want to jump in that's when things are more likely to go off track.
Let's have an example here...
One of your team is underperforming. You're not sure why. You've been coaching them but their behaviour and results are not improving. They have a proposal in their pipeline that will enable you to reach the team target if you can close the deal before the end of the month. You have a feeling in your gut that you can't trust this person to close the deal. What do you do? Do you continue coaching them to uncover the issue that's getting in the way of their success? Or do you jump in, take over and close the deal?
Tough call right? Because there isn't one right answer here. There are also more options that you could explore. The point is not what you should do...the point is do you have the awareness to notice what's going on inside you before you are halfway up the road of your chosen behaviour?
Get to know yourself...
It's crucial that you can quickly identify the various part of you that show up when you're under pressure. Think about the leadership challenges you've experienced in the last 12 months. The ones where you may have felt an inner conflict before taking action. The ones where you look back and think you could have done better.
Come up with labels for each behaviour that you would like to refine, improve or eliminate. Here are a few examples:
The Fixer -- takes over when things aren't going so well
The Broadcaster -- sends a blasting email to the entire team when it's only a few people that aren't performing
The Saviour -- saves sales people instead of empowering them to come up with their own solutions to challenges
The Mood Hoover -- everyone knows when you're in a bad mood and steers clear of you
Get the idea?
Time to practice...
Every time you notice yourself acting in a way that isn't ideal...name your part. "Here we go, my Fixer is in full swing today". Naming your behaviour is a much kinder way of creating change. It's so much easier to change your behaviour than to change your identity.
Now that you know what you don't want...you need to decide what behaviour you want to exhibit instead. What would be a better and more effective way to act? Once you've established how you want to show up as a leader, you can take the first step to implement your new behaviour.
This takes practice but eventually you'll begin to switch from your old way of being to your new way of being.
Better for you, better for your team and better for the business.
Until next time,
PS If you want to chat more about managing the different parts of yourself so that you can be a better leader then please do get in touch!