The loneliness of leadership: no-one to talk to who really understands what you’re going through. Those above you have been there, seen it, done it and got the T-shirt; they only make you feel incompetent. Those below you, eagerly awaiting pearls of visionary wisdom to come dropping from your mouth in the weekly team meeting, only make you feel like a phoney when you don’t have an audacious plan ready to implement. What to do?
You could always start listening to your inner self for a while and accepting (respecting, even) where you are at right now. Only with calm reflection will you be able to regain some sense of what needs to be done, what is possible and what is probable. And listen to your team and peers too, because they, just like you, have moments of self-doubt and Imposter Syndrome that, in extremis, can cause debilitating fear to arise.
Leadership development interventions should balance well-deserved self-reflection time (despite how selfish it might feel) with putting the team’s needs ahead of satisfying one’s own ego.
Face Value’s approach to leadership development is guided by two influences: an interactional approach, whereby the leader’s relationship with time, the self and others is at the centre of exploring possible future goals and probable plans, and an awareness of the neuroscience of decision-making, in particular of how all our decisions involve emotional processing, most of it taking place unconsciously, especially when under pressure.
Humility is an often underrated facet of effective leaders: when you are comfortable showing others that you are not perfect and don’t have all the answers, then psychological safety in the team will grow.
Leadership development is helped by the careful use of psychometric instruments that measure the personality characteristics and behaviours that are predictive of leadership potential, as well as identify those that, when over-played, can lead to executive dysfunction and can de-rail a leader’s career. Click on the links for more information, including a peek at my own profile of potential detailers and personality-based performance risks.