In my experience, the words leadership and management are used interchangeably in the workplace. In the management and leadership classes I’ve taught over the years, we define those terms differently, while recognizing that leadership is a critical part of management.Like Forrest Gump’s mama, I have always believed that life and leadership are like a box of chocolates. Defining leadership as a component of management was like saying cocoa is a component of chocolate. While cocoa is the critical component in making chocolate, there is a process in taking the cocoa through critical steps before the chocolate is produced.Such is true with leadership—critical steps for leadership development are necessary. The first steps begin with awareness.Need another rockin’ example? Click here:We tell the truth to ourselves when we acknowledge our own imperfections. In one of my favorite leadership books, “Leading with Soul”, the authors Boleman and Deal stated, “To deny imperfections is to deny our humanity and to become disconnected from our soul.”Accepting our imperfections and taking the introspective, reflective journey, we travel to our core and find our authentic leader within.Try these 3 simple steps to start your deep dive into self-awareness:
- Keep a journal and start writing in it daily. When you make this part of your routine, you will find this time of reflection become a habit.
- Set aside a small amount of time each day – just 10 minutes to be quiet. Unplug, turn off, or sit in your car if you need to. In this stillness, we find profound awareness.
- When you notice an uneasiness like fear or worry and simply ask yourself, “Where is this coming from?” Once we learn how to acknowledge this feeling, we can choose to release it if it does not serve us.
I would love to hear from you. What do you suppose keeps us from our vulnerability and authenticity as leaders?With love,Maria