In a recent conversation with a client, I asked: them “what’s your role in the leadership team?”. A fascinating leadership insight emerged, highlighting the importance of self-awareness and embracing individual strengths. As I asked them about their role within the leadership team, they hesitated and struggled to provide a clear answer. This hesitation revealed a significant perspective on how they viewed themselves and shed light on potential implications for their leadership style.
After some gentle pushing and reflection, my client realised that their approach had been to observe what the rest of the team was doing and then fill in the gaps. Essentially conducting a gap analysis. An approach that prevented them from fully embracing their unique abilities and passions. To overcome this limitation, they needed to reframe their perspective.
My client recognised they should be identifying their own brilliance – making a conscious decision to contribute that to the team, bringing what they could to the meetings without first worrying about what others would bring. This revelation signifies a shift towards self-empowerment and understanding their distinct value in a leadership context.
My clients’ approach could be seen as them having a lack of self-assurance. Perhaps they were hesitant to define their role because they were uncertain about their own unique contribution. This self-doubt had the potential to limit their ability to assert themselves as an effective leader and diminish their impact on the team.
Furthermore, the way in which they might lead their teams could be influenced by their inclination to observe and adapt rather than proactively define their leadership style. Their focus might lean more towards aligning with others’ approaches rather than confidently asserting their own ideas. This conformity-oriented leadership style could hinder creativity, innovation, and the ability to foster a diverse range of perspectives within the team.
To develop this individual as a leader, it is crucial to identify and embrace different thinking within the team. Encouraging open dialogue, creating a psychologically safe environment, and fostering a culture of acceptance and appreciation for diverse perspectives are essential steps. By doing so, team members will feel empowered to express their unique viewpoints, contributing to a richer and more dynamic problem-solving process.
Leaders must recognise their unique value and confidently contribute their brilliance and passion to their teams. By encouraging diverse thinking within the team and supporting personal development, organisations can unlock the full leadership potential of their individuals, fostering innovation, collaboration, and success.
What could you do to identify different thinking in your team – and the opportunity for this to be used to develop them as a leader?