You’re the leader. You’re the pick of the bunch, the crème de la crème, a rock. You have a presence that inspires others to follow and believe in you. You have a strong, unflappable leadership identity.
But, actually, the reality – as experienced by you, the leader, is never that black and white, is it? The idea that your “leader” self is unchanging and solid is an illusion. Indeed, a chunk of the knack of being a successful leader lies in creating and perpetuating this mirage. In fact, if you do feel utterly grounded and stable in your identity as a leader, then something’s probably amiss.
It was this article that got me thinking about this subject. August Turak is clearly a leader who knows that there’s no one “he” who leads; rather, leading is a collection of qualities and responses you have learned to demonstrate when required. Even when the rest of your self is being pulled from pillar to post, cast adrift in a Force Ten gale.
It is often said that leaders must be responsive to change, able to react skilfully and decisively to what can seem like chaos. What is rarely said is that the internal life of a leader is also subject to change, to chaos. A leader – or a someone who leads – needs to embrace this as much as they embrace the flux that is external to them.