One of the questions new leaders (in companies and entrepreneurs) have to answer to their business environment, themselves and their team members is Who am I as a leader & what am I bringing onto the table...
As a woman, you might have an internal struggle that you are not even aware of. Does these thoughts sound familiar?
As an ambitious business woman, I am supposed to show up in a certain, expected manner in order to be taken seriously (this usually relates to everything - from the cloths you wear, make up you put, way you start and end your emails, how much do you talk on meetings, the way you layout your presentation slides, run your meetings, report your results, achievements, suppress your emotions, strike a power pose etc.).
On the other hand, there is that fact that you are researching emotional intelligence in your off work time, and you are reading more more and about Tesla and his work or you are on your spiritual awakening path or you just have a creative hobby aside... And you see how everything you learn from those experiences could benefit to your team members, performance, company even. But, it seems like there is no room for any innovation that is not mentioned in Harvard Business Review.
So, now you, as a Fist Time Leader might think that you will play by the rules until you establish yourself as a winner of Australian Open in Leadership. Then, you will bring your innovative ideas and approach and add it to your game and image.
This is a solid plan, except you wanna be aware of few pitfalls:
# 1 Fakers do not get to play the Grand Slam
You do not get to even play on Australian Open if you do not have your own authentic style of How do you play the game. The one that is subliming all your life knowledge, from your long fingers that are trained and flexible to take longer games with no pain because you played piano from age of 6... To your favorite myth about Olympic Gods that have ability to transform themselves which is why you can play against players that like longer exchanges and those who tend to end points quickly.... Or the time you recovered from painful knee injury by using alternative medicine which now gives you the confidence to take more risks in your game - because you know that only the brave decisions lead to miraculous successes...
This mean that your authentic grand slam winner style needs to be nourished from the first moments. And everything that makes your life experience you can and should incorporate into your leadership style. This is exactly what makes you unique leader.
My point: Bring all your knowledge onto the table confidently. Do not be scared of being different or being labeled as weird or non competent. Or, be scared, just do it. With that, you are allowing others do that as well. And you do want to be that leader to inspire change and innovation. Well, walk you talk. If you want your team members to go extra mile so you can have amazing results to show off, why would you play on the safe side yourself?
#2 Cultural conditioning is a habitual pattern
Cultural conditioning in companies is strong, but is also the "marketing" conditioning among entrepreneurs. This means that we are all under external influence more than we are aware of and that we probably are not even aware of how unauthentic our game is.
The thing is - everybody else around us will be. So, since your internal misalignment and inner struggle are going to be written all over your forehead, it is so much more purposeful that you ask your inner self for the answer before you check what your superiors would do or your competition would do or what Harvard Business Review has to say.
If you want to inspire changes, be ready to look for no approval from the start. From day one. Create this habit.
#3 Average player stays average
Once you position yourself as an average leader, which basically means that you are more of a coordinator (or, if you are an entrepreneur - you play in a middle level), it will be a lot harder to change the image into the change maker, the leader that drives and inspires transformation. It is not impossible of course, it just usually takes some identity crisis and personal work to overcome it. So, why opting for identity crisis if you can freely be everything you are all day long?
Conclusion: The fact that you are a rookie leader or business owner gives you an amazing opportunity to bring something fresh, authentic and raw before you slip into routine. Remember, people want to work with you, buy from you or be around you because of your unique energy. Because of what your name stands for, what you believe in and fight for, what you have courage to ask for.
This is your opportunity to do for your team what you would like that someone else did for you, for your family what you would like that your parents did for you. For your clients what you would like that another business owner did for you. You know that quote that says be the change you want to see in the world. Well, this is it. This is that moment. Honor that.
Groove the word.
Your Leadership Mentor,