Leadership: of the Authentic Kind

Leadership coaching: Fear. The question is this: Is it ok to be open, when in a leadership role, about my fears, my presumptions, my misunderstandings, and even my prejudices? Or is it much safer to be all gung-ho, positive and motivational?

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I think I know the answer to that for me. I believe that it is much more dangerous to pretend that I know the answer than to admit that I don’t. If I pretend then there is little hope of generating the solutions that are really needed. And, that admission flies totally in the face of beliefs I was handed when I was small.I don’t know about you but I was brought up to keep my fears to myself. It was understood in my family that to express any kind of anxiety was ‘a little bit disappointing’, was inconvenient, and was just me being over-sensitive… And yet, I have just made this pledge to my new business partner:

Leadership Coaching: Fear

“That we will always act out of love and not fear. Expression of fear is welcome in order that it can be held and supported in the transformation.  That the challenges and rumblings of disagreement that happen between us are welcome and a necessary part of that process of wider understanding for both of us.”
THAT is the very opposite of the dysfunctional family I was raised in. I will no longer ‘do as I am told’. I am an adult myself now. I will own it when I don’t understand and I need to know more in order to make a good decision.
“Courage doesn’t happen when you have all the answers. It happens when you are ready to face the questions you have been avoiding your whole life.”~Shannon L. Alder
So, of course, any leader will have fears. As leaders, we are taking teams of people into unknown territory in a business or services or new sectors. I take a risk when I behave in this new way. I am learning that my ego can take the beating of feeling like an ejit or I feeling as if I look small. However, in service of providing a good service. in service of actually meeting the need. I will risk that and I know that I can survive it.
Leadership coaching: Fear
I will also do it because it gives others permission to ‘not know it all’ as well. If we all work together, and we all have permission to be curious, to be disruptive and to explore. If we can fess up to our fuck-ups and in this way take the lesson from it, then the right decisions will get taken. The rightful things will be done and the whole enterprise is, therefore, fit for purpose.
It is high time we owned our own fears. Perhaps that will enable you to design the thing that you do in the way that it is really needed. Owning your own fear will promote a culture of honesty and its hugely permission giving to be human at work. A third of a life is a long time to pretend to be anything other than yourself.

You can find Rebecca here at the Daemon Career Coach