I wish you an empowering and purposeful New Year.
As we get set to usher in a brand new 2019, I would like you to reflect on the following.
What could we do in a fast changing and complex world that would satisfy issues faced by our team? How could we develop our relational intelligence to gain traction with stakeholders? How could we construct a dynamic game plan to get our organisation shift from the present to the created future?
What if I told you that the key to each of the above questions lies in one specific aspect of our own personality?
To understand this some more, let me tell you my own story.
As the business head, I was the top dog in the organisational hierarchy. I felt cocooned by the warm comfort of managers, supervisors and executives being there to do my bidding. Somewhere along the way, this ‘being there’ feeling changed into a ‘better than’ mindset. And this is when my leadership problems started.
I began to think of myself as superior. I thought that as a Leader I had to be! And this led to my being arrogant. Over time this became my garb. ‘I had to use every opportunity to make all these little people understand that I was simply better than they were!’ I could just not afford not to know everything there was to know. So the arrogance led to my being inauthentic. Worse, the decision making increasingly started bordering on ‘my way or highway’. For accepting an outside possibility would undermine me would it not! This of course led to my becoming isolated.
My inauthenticity and isolation started eating into the organisation’s openness and team work. And when this impacted overall performance, the blame game hit the roof. With me of course doing most of the blaming!
The turning point came with the plummeting organisational performance. It took the shape of the following.
- The advent of Self Awareness in me that “I need to curb this feeling of superiority that rears its head every time I interact”.
- Getting my hands dirty by adopting a ‘walking and talking’ leadership style and thereby becoming curious about people, not results.
- Practicing the Attitude of Gratitude, realizing how fortunate I have been in receiving support of others inspite of my shortcomings.
- Leading with Generosity by jettisoning the fear of being taken advantage of. Realizing that even though I would be taken advantage of, that would be better than being closed to openness and possibilities.
So in the New Year, what could each one of us do as leaders to jettison our superiority mindset and arrogance?