Updated: Mar 9, 2021
I have a new free publication out at the moment. It’s called Leading with Courage and Vulnerability. It outlines the 5 factors that I believe are critical to stepping into your role as a wholehearted leader. I’m going to expand on these over the next five weeks as we take a deeper dive into what each of these actually means and what you can do on a practical level to integrate these truths into your own leadership presence. Let’s get started with truth number one: Do You.
We’ve seen terms such as "authentic leadership” and “heart centred leader” rise in prominence with the attributes of courage and vulnerability taking centre stage in the leadership conversation around Covid. If you read my previous blog on this topic then you will know that we are starting to see a shift in the commentary where these concepts are no longer always a precursor to productivity, employee engagement and profits but instead being tied into the responsibilities we have in the mental health and wellbeing of those in our organisations.
The very core these ideologies recognises that when you do YOU, the imperfect, shambolic, true version of yourself, others find you more relatable, more approachable and are more likely to confide in you and discuss issues that might have previously been considered as off limits. The premise is that we will create more meaningful relationships, be more connected to those we lead and demonstrate more kindness, compassion and empathy.
So, while this all sounds very nice, in reality our workplaces are still set up around a control and command hierarchy. There are still structures, policies and expectations in place that don’t intuitively encourage us to lead in this manner. The thing is, this change won’t happen first. This is a classic example of where we have to be the change we want to see in the world before it will come about.
So how do we do this together?
We do this by you doing YOU. A fully awakened, aligned, intentional and brave version of yourself. The one who is not afraid to explore, experiment and fail. The one who is curious about herself and the impact she has on others. She asks questions because she don’t know all the answers and the one who sees a real live, heart beating human being sitting across from her.
Taking off the armour you wear to work comes about when you are ready to open yourself up and learn more about who you truly are. Too often we look at leadership being about influencing others. Looking at their behaviour and what we can do to make them feel and act in certain ways. We are often asked to look at the leaders we admire and adopt their qualities. What I’m inviting you to do is to focus on you. What makes you tick? How do you want to show up in the world? What stops you from becoming all that you would like to be.
Taking responsibility for your own personal and professional development is the first step. Digging deep to understand what you truly value (not what others expect you to value), tapping into what really makes your soul sing (not what keeps the fears at bay) and being open to different ideas and different ways of viewing the world to expose the limiting beliefs and old stories that keep you stuck IS the work. You already know the theory. You already have access to the tools and templates. You can find the information you need to do your work at your fingertips. This is about changing the internal landscape of you, so you can find congruence between what you believe, what you say and what you do.
So, what’s ONE THING you can do to get on this path?
The easiest and most effective way to get started in transforming from a good, competent solid leader, to a courageous, vulnerable, wholehearted one is to start journaling. Personal development is the continual practice of self-reflection. It’s about being curious about why you do the things you do. The only way you can answer these questions honestly is by looking at them objectively and one of the best ways to do this is to get them out of your head and onto a piece of paper. There are many ways to journal and a great place to start is to simply reflect on each day and as you go through the significant events, ask - what can I learn about myself today?
The concept of journalling is simple but the art of doing it is not. It is a foundational practice for transformation so I really encourage you to give it a go.
If you want to find out about the other truths then you can download my guide Leading with Courage and Vulnerability and I'll pop you on the mailing list so you get notifications and more support as you take the steps along the path to becoming the leader you are destined to be.
PS I'm finalising the beta version of my new program Leadership.Done By Design. This will be my signature program and focussed on women in leadership. It's based on the understanding you have done your corporate suite of training and so the focus is on helping YOU becoming the leader you were destined to be to role model this new generation of leadership. If you're interested you can check it out here. If you have any questions about it send me an email and we'll make a time to chat.