I've known Erin for 2 years and have yet to have a chat with her where she doesn't offer value in thoughts and actions, a comment echoed by others as well. I am very excited to have Erin write a post and share a valuable lesson on finding one's leadership style.
Connect with Erin on LinkedIn, she'd love to hear from you.
Many years ago, a leader of mine shared 2 words that have resonated in every leadership role that I have taken: be you.
As leaders we often step back to get inspiration from other leaders. Perhaps that is through books, articles, or observation. There are many leadership styles, and there is no question that a leader’s style can positively or negatively engage teams to bring about a variety of outcomes. Often, we observe leaders and think “how could I incorporate this into my leadership style” or “if only I could be like that leader, perhaps I could get that outcome!”.
Comfort is limiting
Adding to this is the notion of mentorship and coaching. In mentorship, we work with leaders who we often want to emulate. We listen to their feedback, suggestions, and thought process to become better at what we do. In coaching, we often get transparent and honest feedback. It is during these times where we are challenged to look for opportunities to step outside of our comfort zones in order to grow as leaders.
Know your leadership style
Over the years, I’ve adapted my leadership style, fallen down, adapted, and changed time and again. The one thing that has always stayed constant is being true to myself and who I am. My leadership style will always include a personal connection wtih my team, it is a fundamental part of who I am, and for me it’s about showing people that you care. I realized that the message – be you – my leader told me was not that I couldn’t try other leadership styles and learn from new practices; it was that I needed to remember who I am, what my values and strengths are, and always hold true to those things while finding my way as a leader.
My view is that people want to work with a leader who is authentic. Take learnings from other leaders, and incorporate them into your style without compromising who you are, and how you want other people to see you.