Most leaders are under some kind of stress. We weren’t born to be stressed. We weren’t born to struggle. It’s a modern day epidemic, which has been festering away, long before the C-word pandemic!
In ancient times if you were born a leader (as you have been). You wouldn’t question the way you led and others wouldn’t either. You would lead with your natural born gifts and talents and everyone would see that you were YOU leading.
Stress is self-inflicted (sorry!) when you are trying to doing something that does not come to you naturally. You try and lead as someone else, be someone else. You don’t believe in yourself and you think that you’re not enough. If you lead as you were born to lead. You will see there is no stress and struggle. Everything is easy and you lead in serenity and calm.
Who do you think you are?
If you didn’t have a role or a title, how would you introduce yourself?
We have been programmed as a society to identify ourselves and other people by what they do, what they are called and what status they hold. Yet we have all started to change our identity over the last couple of months. We’ve maybe become a homeworker, a school teacher or even feel as though we have lost our identity all together, if we have found ourselves out of work or on furlough.
Many leaders will have lost their sense of direction, not knowing which way to turn. Knowing that there is a new requirement to lead differently but not quite seeing the way forward.
Managing people who have had their work and home lifes thrown up in the air. Who have now started to re-prioritise what is important, what they want and also questioning who they are.
Faced with not knowing who you are and recognising that you have lost or changed your identity can be stressful and overwhelming. Yet, what could be more liberating than taking the opportunity to rediscover what makes you happy, what makes you sad, what’s important and questioning whether what you are doing is your purpose?
What does this mean for you as a leader?
Give your employees to space to explore new opportunties and skills. Don’t assume that they will automatically seek new jobs elsewhere. Let them be open and honest about how they feel about their current role, with no judgement. Start to see all of their potential and let them express any new direction they want to go in.
Accept that some will go, but they will no longer be fit for your organisation. If you have got your values and vision clear you will automatically hold onto those that see a future with you. You will have to nuture them as a person, as an individual, rather than a role and a job title.
To create loyalty be open and honest about who you are. What are you hoping for the future, fearing, excited and passionate about. What do you want for them, for you and the organisation. Allow new ideas, creativity, the opportunity to develop the business together.
You are going to find a new way of working as the old ways will no longer work.
What does this mean for you?
As a woman leader you have probably been used to using masculine energies to lead as this is the expectation of most organisations. It is also part of our expectation to find the masculine energy traits in a leader. Logical thinking, assertive, which can be controlling and a striving urgency to get things done in a rush.
What are masculine and feminine energies?
We all have masculine and feminine energies, yet we tend to use them more proportionally to our own gender. As women have always had to strive harder to reach more senior leadership positions then a tendency to lead in a masculine energy to be able to get ahead is inevitable, but can be difficult and exhausting to maintain.
Being able to use more feminine energy whilst leading has the advantage of creating a more nurturing and receptive environment basing decisions on intuition and unity, which tends to be able to build more trust and loyalty.
Of course there is nothing stopping male leaders adopting some of the same energies. Indeed everyone need a balance of both in different situations and it’s about being able to identify what works best in each given circumstance.
The rules of the game have changed and you can give yourself permission to change things up. Who expects us to be the same anyway! Lead how you were born to lead and others will follow.
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If you want to know what leaders of the future look like, you can view my channelled Lessons of Conscious Leadership.