A client was updating me on her team’s progress in being more inclusive and participatory in how they lead their organization. One piece of feedback she got from her team was “Lead the way you want to lead.” What struck her was how liberating that felt to her. Prior to this latest effort, she had struggled with her own frustration and disappointment at not only how hard it was to lead, but the lack of effort on the part of others to join her. She was trying to play a part that she thought everyone “needed” but felt awkward to her. In fact the harder she tried, the less effective she became.

Her team had scheduled a series of less formal, smaller gatherings (as opposed to the “all hands” meetings involving everyone) to seek input from the staff on some changes through which they were working. They had great attendance, great feedback and great questions. My client reported she really enjoyed the meetings (a sharp contrast to the dreaded predecessor “all hands.”) What she realized is this was the way she wanted to work, to show up and to “lead.” The funny thing is, her team saw it before she did – thus the feedback.

So here are a few questions for you:

  • How are you leading? What is the little voice in your head telling you in the moment?
  • Are you replicating what worked for someone else or following your own voice?
  • How do you know it’s working?
  • What are you willing to stop doing/start doing in order to “lead the way you want to lead?”

Good luck. We’d love to hear what you decide to do.