Leadership can be defined in many ways. Possibly the most important thing a person can do in order to be more adept in this arena is to be self-aware.
So what is the fear? “What got you here, won’t get you there.” – Joel Brockner. Leaders push into the unknown. As we rise up the ladder we arrive someplace that is beyond our skills. Imposter syndrome can cripple. How do you rise above and avoid the contrasting syndrome of terminal uniqueness? Through recognition of vulnerabilities and continued curiosity. An ability to be vulnerable and authentic allows for others to do the same.
Accepting more responsibility sometimes draws us away from our expertise and efficiency. Say no to things that pull you away from your virtues. Value what is real to yourself and that which allows you to push into discomfort without derailing your flow.
Think of new projects and roles as R&D. For established professionals, no more than 20% of your schedule should pull you into areas at which you are not expert or efficient. Being uncomfortable is ok and sometimes a welcomed means for growth. But overwhelm ensues when you are overcommitted.
Leading must include a team. Know your blind spots by relying on trusted coworkers. Ask often what is going well, what is not, and ask for teams to share ideas on how to grow. The leader will identify worthwhile pursuits and delegate appropriately. Understanding that not all ideas will pan out is fundamental to an ability to share and experiment.
Remind yourself and your teams of strengths, weaknesses, and potential blind spots. Retreat often to silent meditation and awareness. Pause frequently. Listen intently. And face the fears of being wrong, overlooked, and stuck by taking control of your task list. Ask for help. Share openly. Accept that we only have control of our own actions and not outcomes.
Leave comments and suggestions. It’s been hanging out in the drafts box too long…hope to see shared wisdom and thoughts on this.