Have you ever wondered why if we have all this leadership training, do we still have bad leaders?
Throughout my many years as a leadership instructor inside my own organization, I repeatedly found myself navigating two heated conversations. (And usually the first conversation led to the second!)
1) My supervisor has been to these leadership classes, heard all this stuff, and he/she is still a jerk. What’s up with that?
2) So maybe leadership really is something that is BORN instead of learned ‘cause clearly so-and-so can’t learn it.
When the conversations would come up in the classroom, I would hold the party line insisting that a person still had to choose to engage in appropriate leadership behaviors, blah, blah, blah.
But inside I was curious… Often I knew the alleged jerk and knew that the person did not get up in the morning deliberately intending to be a jerk. So what was going on?
After much study and experimentation, I concluded that leadership IS born, but not in the way you think. Perhaps it’s better said that everyone has natural leadership abilities within them. That greatness comes pre-installed by the manufacturer. The thing to learn is how to let it out.
Most organizations teach management processes and leadership tactics very well. Those are the DOING parts of the leadership equation. But just like a sledgehammer in the hands of someone not strong enough to lift it, the processes and tactics are useless, or even destructive, without the leadership mindset that makes all the other pieces work. The leadership mindset is what I call Greatness. It is the BEING part of leadership.
The good news is greatness is not something you have to learn or acquire, though it is something that may need to be discovered, unleashed, acknowledged, or accepted. Not by the organization, a boss, a direct report, or some outside party, but by the leader herself.
For most people, unleashing one’s own greatness is an ongoing evolutionary (sometimes REvolutionary) process. That’s why so few choose to actually do it. It requires recognizing, magnifying, and honoring one’s own unique contribution in order to recognize, magnify, and honor the unique contribution of another. It involves unpacking and disarming the fears, doubts, and limiting beliefs that get in the way of allowing your own natural leadership abilities to emerge so they can be refined and honed via the management processes and leadership tactics we’ve already been taught.
There is bad news about unleashing your greatness though… Because uncovering your greatness is such an individual, personal process, it requires individual, personal commitment at a core level. It requires commitment of personal time and energy within a structured, supportive community; one dedicated to helping you see and know your own greatness as you bring out the greatness in others.
That’s what leadership is after all.
If you’re ready to start uncovering your greatness, and need some guidance and help, then I want to talk to you! Let’s jump on the phone for a complimentary Great Life Strategy Session.
Leave a Reply