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THE EXECUTIVE TRUTH: LEADERS ARE HUMAN TOO



In conversation with an executive leader, I asked the question, “In your current role, what is one thing that encourages you, one thing that discourages you, and one thing that concerns you?” Here’s what he answered:

 

 

1. Encourage:  “The constant changes of the past four years feel like they are slowing down.”

 

Things feel like they are getting back to “normal”. Not the normal of 2019—too much has been permanently disrupted to ever go back. But the fact that the pandemic was a global issue—no corner of the world was untouched—allows my fellow leaders and me to let our  humanity/humility show. And, frankly, my teams have shared that they have been waiting for me to let my humanity/humility show

 

 Takeaway: Leaders now have permission to say, “I don’t know” because the ego-centered illusion of all-knowingness paraded prior to early 2020 has been replaced by leader-authenticity, and a willingness to reopen to others’ suggestions to create new successes. Many leaders are discovering that they are becoming BETTER leaders on the other side of this shift.

 


2. Discourage: “In the past, I felt confident in my ability to create success. Now, that’s taken a hit. How do I keep the ship successfully moving forward?”

 

Many leaders feel discouraged by the changing dynamics of what they do, and the environments in which they are attempting to do it. Executive leaders are accustomed to success, and driving success. But, many are struggling as the actions of the past yield unsatisfying results in the present. Many leaders are burning out attempting to replicate past successes

 

A wise man once said, “If you’re not growing, you’re dying.” The truth is that effective leadership in the past does not guarantee effective leadership in the present and future. Leaders must evolve to match (or surpass) the evolution they expect from their teams. 

 

What’s critically important is for leaders to have a consistent, confidential, private place to step into and simply be who they really are—honest, open, willing to grow, and aware that they don’t have all the answers to today’s rapidly shifting environment (Trust me, no one does). Everyone needs a dedicated safe place where they feel guided, supported and led where they can create breakthroughs, discovering better ways, and find solutions that make a difference. [That’s why leaders seek me out and trust me to work with them.]

 

Takeaway: Evolution is never easy, and our ego sees change as death and will fight against it. But, those leaders who are open to it will recognize that they are being invited not to replicate, but to create an all-new vision, build new strategies and structures to support that vision, and evolve their mindset to reflect the evolve/evolving environment.

 

 

3. Concern“How do I maintain authority, direct success, and also show that I’m real?”

 

Leaders are human too. And humans live in a constantly-shifting reality that combines intellect and emotion. More than ever, today’s leaders are faced with their own humanity. Their hopes, their fears, their optimism, their insecurities.

 

Unfortunately, many leaders have indoctrinated into the lie that showing humanity/humility and revealing themselves to their teams is viewed as weakness. They often create a “leadership avatar” and seek to direct from that avatar. But, it’s not real—it only creates/perpetuates imposter syndrome, and people see/feel though this defense mechanism, which undermines credibility

 

Takeaway: The truth is that leader realness (ex. authenticity, vulnerability, willingness to connect) creates greater rapport, collaboration and trust between leaders and teams. And, with greater rapport, collaboration and trust, the possibility field expands and unprecedented success becomes achievable.

 

Key: Remember, within the title “leader”, a human resides (yes, YOU). Humans are built to learn and grow, so you do not have to already know everything—in fact, it is an impossibility to ever know everything! So be fully human rather than creating a leader avatar, accept that (with support) you can continuously learn and grow, and know that you can say “I don’t know” while evolving in your expertise and mastery. You will then become pleasantly surprised how your experience (and others’) begins to positively change.

 

 

If this leadership concern rings true for you, contact me today to schedule a complimentary, confidential discussion.

 

For more than two decades, heads of state, CEOs and Executive Leaders around the world have sought me out to serve as their trusted advisor, create breakthroughs by discovering better ways to do and be, and contribute solutions that make a difference in the lives of others.

 

Let’s discuss how best to co-design a different, more effective way of leading for you that yields greater results and legacy, with increased fulfillment, satisfaction, and peace of mind.

 

 

 

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