In many leadership seminars, people have asked me: “What do I need to be a good leader?”
Frankly – for many years I couldn’t come up with one perfect answer. But after seeing lot career paths, talking to hundreds of leaders in different industries and having the honour to guide them through some of their challenges I found not only one but three answers!
- Positive attitude
Have a positive attitude about people! This usually comes by having a positive attitude towards yourself. If you feel like you’re surrounded by idiots and a*holes, take a moment and think about yourself.
- Know your profession
You don’t have to be an expert in every aspect of the field, but knowing your industry, the dynamics, the criteria of the product helps essentially.
- Dare to self-reflect
Most important: Good and experienced leaders are seeking to discover their blindspots. Their intellectual ones, but even more their emotional blindspots.
As a leader look at yourself critically from time to time and discover more of yourself. Mirror yourself with the help of others. If a team member doesn’t perform as expected you might be irritated. Don’t swallow your frustration. See it as an opportunity to reflect:
What is this person showing you about yourself?
Which part of you is making it so hard to address the lack of performance and the behaviour?
Ask yourself why in some meeting your (re-)actions were not as you wanted them. You were prepared, knew what to say, but in the meeting, something triggered you. It was something that was said or nonverbally expressed.
Ask yourself which part of you was triggered?
What made you come up with all the ideas, or what blocked you or made you angry?
To shed some light on this unknown territory is where a professional coach or reflection guide can support you. Together in a trustful setting you can explore and embrace some of your new insights.
Since more than 20 years I work as a trainer and coach. With a background in Sales and Marketing I am a counselor and coach and certified in a number of behavioral models. Over the years I worked with many different international companies and different industries. In my role as supporter, sparing partner and reflection guide I deal mostly with leaders on all levels. My core topics are conflict management, communication in challenging situations and team development. In our fast moving time where changes and flexibility are the name of the game we reduce speed in the sessions, to untie some of the knots so we can speed up again. Besides the variety of tools and techniques that I can offer I learned that self reflection is most important. And out of the many approaches I find the shadow work the one with the strongest lever.