Alex Lazarus, Lumina Learning practitioner, Lazarus & Maverick
Everything we do in the present moment creates our future and our legacy. Being self-aware sends us on a continual journey of becoming the best human being and the best businessman/woman we can be – something that great leaders actively aspire to achieve. How can you build your leadership legacy?
Personality vs performance in leadership
Have you ever walked into a meeting with your boss feeling confident and well prepared, yet you left deflated, confused and exhausted? Your project was approved but now it’s on hold. You could’ve been told this in your last one-to-one but he cancelled it, again!
Sounds familiar? You’re not alone. The Corporate Learning Survey by Henley Business School revealed that the greatest challenges over the next three years are predicted to be organisation-wide leadership capability and the effectiveness of management teams. It seems that the quest for leadership breakthrough formula is still on with a plethora of buzzwords: credible, authentic, agile, transformational etc.
Different times call for different measures. It’s true, however, that one constant amongst many variables in business is our dynamic personality. This is a tool in itself, able to enrich our leadership capabilities for us to be able to:
- Improve leadership presence and followership power
- Engage others in purpose driven and courageously creative vision
- Influence effectively – build a bulletproof power base
- Fend off pressure – develop a mindful six-pack with emotional intelligence
- Foster great teams – set operating principles of high performance
- Create an outstanding legacy, stay true to your private self
- Enjoy success at no cost of burnout and live life in full colour
Most leaders I work with know the ropes of their job but still hit a brick wall at one point or another. Those who fare best are undeniably more self-aware than others. They are also able to manage their emotions and take a meaningful action – both elements of emotional agility. It is no surprise then that Harvard Business School lists self-awareness as one of the key attributes of its applicants and that research links self-awareness with significant performance improvement, showing that:
- Self-awareness was the strongest predictor of success.
- “Bully” traits correlated with low ratings for managing talent, inspiring followership and being a team player.
- Executives with low interpersonal skills scored poorly on every performance dimension.
So, how do we get hold of the holy grail called self-awareness that promises a successful leadership existence with a happily ever after leadership legacy?
Here are some tips:
- 360 feedback review – be brave and face your blind spots as they impact your bottom line.
- Self-leadership – does your lifestyle honour your core values, do you give quality time to what and who matters to you the most?
- Emotional MOT – reflect on whether you act on impulse or are able to influence the quality of your own thinking, feelings and behaviours?
- Coaching – working with an executive coach can bring to the surface your limiting unconscious biases and filters and amplify positive personality traits.
- Personality profiling – explore your private, public and overextended persona, how you adapt to challenges, which personality traits you overplay: are you structured or planning obsessed, empathetic or emotionally stretched?
- Leadership profiling – get instant insights into your leading style, and master all four competencies of high-performing leaders: “leading through people”, “leading with vision”, “leading with drive” and “leading to deliver”.
- Value diversity – learn how to speed read others to co-create results faster, e.g. if you are highly inspiration driven, adaptable and spontaneous, tone it down when working with someone who is down to earth, cautious and practical.
Our personality can build or destroy relationships, make or break our performance results and send our business up or under. Luckily, thanks to our brain’s neuroplasticity, we can develop new habits and specific personality traits for high-performing leadership. It’s never too late to build your leadership legacy.
Is it really worth it? I think it is.
Everything we do in the present moment creates our future and our legacy. Being self-aware sends us on a continual journey of becoming the best human being and the best businessman/woman we can be – something that great leaders actively aspire to achieve. Go ahead and build your leadership legacy.
Contact: Alex Lazarus, firstname.lastname@example.org