Why I encourage you to adopt a self-centred leadership style

Developing your self enables you to step up

You are the vehicle for your leadership. Think about that for just a short while and you will know that to be true: When you are feeling unwell, what impacts does it have on your leadership? If you are fully fit and healthy, well rested and focused, then how do you manifest leadership (of yourself and/or others) – usually much better, right? Great. So, if we accept it to be true that the better shape you are in physically, mentally and developmentally, the more successful your leadership is likely to be. This post helps you understand why ongoing development of your Self is key to being able to lead yourself and others successfully towards a meaningful and fulfilled life inside and outside of work.

It’s all about development

Some people develop quickly, some slowly, some are happy where they are. The comfort zone is not a good place for development to happen; by definition, your need to be in a place where you are likely to face stretch and challenge. That’s when you become more capable through the learning you can squeeze from each new level of challenge.

You’ve got no choice in an organisation to stand still – the pace of organisational change is so fast and relentless that to do so will soon have negative impacts for your future success. You may have a coach or leader who can help you come to terms with that, or you may choose to leave if it doesn’t suit you. Insisting people constantly change is not always the best approach. The natural process is that sometimes progress needs to be made and other times it’s a natural step just to enjoy the status quo, which is why it has to be individual and contextual to what is required.

Restructuring needs to be seen as a two-sided enterprise. Senior management teams focus on development but individuals have an equal right to decide if it’s good for them or not. Some get energised by change, others don’t and they shouldn’t be judged harshly for that, just as organisations can’t be expected to change the macro pace. 

How can leaders help facilitate change in others?

When you have no choice but to change very quickly or help others make quick changes, it is possible to change and it’s useful to look back at the Self and when and where the changes happen. People start from not knowing how to do things, usually experiencing lack of confidence at that stage. An effective way to overcome this is for a coach or the line manager to break progress down into small, confidence-building steps, rather than expecting there to be an immense insight and the person to be immediately transformed into a more capable person. It’s essential for the leader to have a good relationship with the individual and work alongside the process, being generous about the person and not just their achievements.

Reflection is very important and we can relate it back to making your life meaningful. People who don’t reflect and don’t examine their life are actually not able to see their life as meaningful. Their life becomes mechanical when they don’t try to develop their self-awareness, self-understanding, self-knowledge. That’s where the meaning is created. Reflection needs space and when organisations don’t create the space for reflection, including thought-provoking questions, it becomes a self-limiting way of being for organisations as it stunts development.

Glenn P Wallis is a boutique leadership consultancy that provides development for leaders who want to become the very best they can be. If you would like to discuss leadership requirements please contact us here.

This post is a summary of the S1 Ep3 podcast with Professor Tatiana Bachkirova.