What do you cause?
When I ask this question of individual people or groups that I am speaking to, there is often a sea of blank looks, silence and sometimes a bit of muttering (what is she on about?)
I’d like leaders (yes you are one, irrespective of your PD or your position on an organisational chart) to reflect on this question much more often. Still confused? Let me step through this concept.
What do you CAUSE?
- When you walk into a room
- When you walk out of a room
- When you have a one on one conversation
- When you’re at a leadership conference
- When you write an email
- When you post on social media
Do you ‘CAUSE’ – inspiration, motivation, clarity, vision, guidance, wisdom, knowledge, support, care and trust?
Or does something else happen? If you can’t answer this question, perhaps it is time for a moment of reflection. Mark LeBusque asks “How do you turn up?” Mark rightly asks leaders have they ‘turned up’ in service of themselves or in service of others. If it’s the former, then you are probably ‘going to get what you deserve’ when you walk in the room, out of the room, at the conference or after you send that email or post on social media.
Stop reading now if you know what you CAUSE.
Keep reading if you want to be purposeful, deliberate, courageous and aware of how to cause:
They key to all this is that you are purposeful, deliberate, mindful and clear about the impact your leadership behaviour has on others.
Here’s the thing. Highly effective leaders inspire others to action and understand how they are perceived by others.
In my lifelong leadership journey, I’ve undertaken my fair share of personal and professional development. Invariably leadership development work includes reflective exercises. Great leadership development programs ask you to dig deep, hold up the mirror and get you to move beyond the superficial and towards authenticity as a leader. Reflecting on my own journey; the events that formed me, the people who shaped me, the experiences that taught me was an incredibly personal exercise that made me feel very vulnerable, particularly when I chose to continue to use this reflective exercise as the basis for keynotes and presentations to colleagues, clients and events. The process of talking about how my life has transpired was and still is incredibly personal and for the first few times, quite intimidating. However, I know that embracing vulnerability was one of the keys to unlocking and unleashing my passion, purpose and is absolutely in line with my desire to ‘CAUSE’ all the right things and be a truly authentic leader.
Authentic leaders, understand the story of their life and glean meaning from their experiences.
I’ve reflected deeply on who and what had shaped me, why I care about what I care about and who I am called to become. I am called to become a champion of inclusion, a positive female role model and to advance women worldwide. I am called to live a life that matters, a beautiful life, not just a good one. When I wrote my reflective leadership piece, I promised myself that I would continue to be courageous and give my whole self, to be purposeful and always understand what I cause. What about you?
Discovering Your Authentic Leadership George et al, HBR
4 ways to build a human company in the age of machines Tim Leberecht
Are you a giver or a taker? Adam Grant