There is a near-infinite number of leadership models out there. Some good; some great; some not-so.
In the coaching space, I’m often asked for a recommendation. Which model should I adopt and align with – for best results? And in my mind, the answer is always clear: your own.
I don’t share that with my clients. I simply ask them: with everything you’ve ever learnt, experienced, experimented with, employed and enjoyed, what is YOUR model of leadership? What ingredients are required for you to step into your highest possible leadership potential?
And what follows is GOLD.
It’s insightful, inspiration and motivational stuff. It’s high energy. It’s practical. And in particular: it’s authentic.
Choose your words carefully
What’s also helpful in hearing a leader define their own model of leadership is the choice of language. That gives us (ourselves) clues into our drivers and motivators; and into our blockers and issues.
Words carry emotional charge. So it’s important to listen carefully. But equally important to remind ourselves: those emotionally-charged words are still just words. And they can be changed.
If I ask: what’s your word for leadership? And the response is: pressure; isolation; burden; responsibility. Perhaps I’m not as good a leader as I might be if my words for leadership were creativity, inspiration, transformation, ownership.
Don’t like your word associations? Change them.
Fuelling a model of leadership
What props-up your model of leadership? Again, I encourage you to reflect on what has successfully fuelled you and your previous projects. Here are 5 commonly-named foundations of the most successful leaders I’ve worked with:
I cannot give what I do not have. I must look after self. And in particular, I want to focus on, generate and optimise my positive energy. To do that: I’ll set an energy goal. I’ll be intentional about the energy I want to carry into every day, every activity.
What we focus on, we get. More than that, what we focus on (and how) changes the make-up of our brain. So I choose what I focus on. And I choose what we want to move towards, not away from. More than all of that, I focus on the present moment.
I have to make a promise to myself. A personal internal commitment. Else I lack the grit and determination to see the plan through.
Look at your environment. Think of your leadership agenda – and all it entails. Is your environment setup for success? What, in my environment, is supporting me? What is holding me back? What needs to stay? And what needs to go?
No high-performance behaviour exists over the long-term without courage. So I choose to foster this virtue before all others. The #1 Blocker to our highest leadership potential? Fear of expressing who we really are. Meet this with courage by revelling in the challenge, playing big – and finding someone to advocate for. We always do more for others than we ever do for ourselves.