Be Yourself – Everyone Else is Taken
In their book “Why Should Anyone Be Led By You?” Robert Goffee and Gareth Jones point out that in spite of the huge demand for more effective leaders, they remain in short supply.
This is partly due to the fact that organisations across all sectors still encourage people to conform or become inauthentic role players, rather than being clear about who they are and what they stand for. This of course leads to cynical, de-motivated and disengaged followers. Another reason for the lack of good leadership is the limited knowledge across the board about what leadership is and how it can be developed. I have written here before about how leadership is a dynamic relationship that is situational. So, something that works for one leader in one context won’t work for another leader or in another context. Therefore, focusing on the characteristics of leaders or attempting to imitate great leaders just doesn’t work. As Oscar Wilde says, “be yourself everyone else is taken!”
Robert Goffee and Gareth Jones argue that those people who aspire to be effective leaders don’t need to be fully self-aware but they do need to know enough about themselves to recognise their own personal leadership assets and how these can be deployed to best effect.
Leaders need to be able to:
- Show their weaknesses with care
- Tap into their intuition to judge timing and courses of action
- Manage people with “tough empathy”
- Reveal their differences with skill
My questions to you are:
- Which personal weaknesses do you reveal?
- How do you use your intuition?
- How are you different and how can that help you?