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Who are you as a leader?

Posted on from Roffey Park

Do you demonstrate emotional intelligence? Are you clear about your personal vision and what motivates you? Are you able to demonstrate leadership without losing the essence of who you are and what you believe in?

Link between managing yourself & leading others

In recent years, the Challenges facing leaders have risen to new heights. Operating in complex, contradictory and unpredictable environments, increased workloads, belt tightening, high performance targets, downsizing and other priorities are forcing leaders to focus on what’s urgent rather than pressing the pause button to discover what lies beneath their day-to-day leadership.

The links between effective leadership and organisational success have been well chronicled and Roffey Park’s Management Agenda research found this year that over two thirds of managers in organisations rated their leadership positively and that the more successful organisations were the higher managers rated their general leadership. So finding the time to understand how managing yourself so you can lead others, appears to be linked directly to success.

Self-awareness

Good leaders understand themselves: they know their strengths and weaknesses and are not afraid to admit to both. They have physical, mental and emotional awareness, and they are aware of the impact they have on others. They balance a drive for success of the organisation with personal humility. They manage their emotions effectively, motivating themselves when times are tough, and preserving a sense of realistic optimism. They are open to feedback, seeing it as an opportunity to learn about themselves and to develop.

Becoming more aware of yourself and the perceptions of others around you is key. In our work with clients, the use of 360 degree feedback is becoming increasingly popular – nothing new you might think – but combining this with executive coaching is proving an effective way of building self-awareness. It is said that sports professionals spend 99% of their time practising and only 1% performing. Unfortunately, with leaders, this ratio is reversed so the best leaders take any opportunity to 'practice' by reflecting on their performance. Chris Argyris (1978) refers to this as double loop learning, learning by experience, then generalising that experience across your leadership style.

Be the leader you want to be

Above all, leaders need to identify and model a leadership style that not only makes them distinctive, but also is naturally aligned to their personality. For example, leaders with a Myers Brigg ENFP type preference are likely to lead from a strong relationship base using effective networking as part of their leadership approach. Those leaders who have an ISTJ type preference will more likely lead through rational and logical thoughts with planning and organising at the core of their approach. Whichever is your natural style, then it is valuable to build on this style to create an authentic leadership response.

It can be tough to find the energy to be a leader, when you are struggling to meet all the day-to-day demands of your job. By regularly bringing your leadership into focus and being clear about what you want to achieve, you will find it easier to pay attention to how you need to manage, your words and actions, and to notice how others are reacting to you.

Roffey Park has produced a free leadership guide which can be requested by emailing info@roffeypark.com with your email address. For more information about Roffey Park visit www.roffeypark.com

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