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A Beautiful Moment of Insight

Jan 25, 2023

Recently, I was reminded of the beauty and power of diversity in the workplace.  During a leadership development program with senior leaders, I asked a question about whether—and how--the mood of the leader impacts the team and the organization?

There was widespread agreement that the leader’s mood – good or bad – is contagious and ripples through the rest of the team. The leader therefore sets the tone for the rest of the team and the rest of the day.

Two different leaders in the room described their take on bringing emotion into the workplace. John described his style as cool and calm under pressure, no matter how chaotic things get. He felt that his demeanor helped his team to focus without distractions caused by all the noise outside their control.

Jill had a completely different take. She purposely brings emotion into her work and believes that it is driven by her compassion and empathy and sends a clear message that she cares.

What struck me in the moment was what a great example of how very different leadership styles can work effectively. Neither is wrong, both are right, and each represents the power of authenticity in leadership.

Think about your own style. How authentic are you in leading others? How do others perceive your leadership style and effectiveness? How do you know?

As a leader, you are responsible for the energy that you bring into the room, into your conversations, and into your relationships, personal and professional. To what extent do you do this consciously and intentionally?

And what about the leaders in your organization? How are they perceived as leaders? And how are you helping them continue to grow and develop?

One of the best methods for learning more about your leadership strengths, as well as the areas in which you need to focus more attention is a multi-rater survey. In this process, you can compare your own self-assessment against those of your boss, your peers, your direct reports, and others. This provides invaluable insight into how differently you may be perceived by other people with whom you have different types of relationships.

For my clients, I use the Leading Managers 360, developed by the Center for Creative Leadership. Based on their extensive research, this tool provides ratings on the 15 most important skills and perspectives for leaders to develop, as well as a measure on problems that can stall a career. There are also verbatim comments from the raters describing your specific areas of strength, and areas that would benefit by added focus and development. Because the survey is anonymous, the information provided is honest – and sometimes rather raw – but always helpful, especially when accepted with a receptive mindset and the desire to improve.

I encourage participants in this process to undertake it with an open mind and an open heart. It is easy to dismiss feedback we don’t want to hear, and if we think of it as information—and we get to decide what to do with it – it can really help us to grow as leaders. This information represents perceptions that may not be in keeping with our own perception and may not align with our intentions. And this is precisely why it’s so helpful.

Using this process can provide you with your own beautiful moment of insight. And that can make all the difference.

There are many right ways to lead. The important thing is to develop your own self-awareness about what’s working and what’s not, so that you can develop a game plan that will take you from here to there. The world needs better leaders right now. Your world needs better leaders.

If you want to know more about how to improve your leadership, let’s talk. I can help you, just as I’ve helped countless other leaders grow and improve.

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