Leadership Development and Your Authentic Wiring

There is a lot of emphasis in leader development on knowing who you are.  In other words, how you're authentically wired.  This is a good thing.

Analyzing a leader's wiring is effective in making sure the leader finds the work best suited for their strengths.  It helps organizations as they determine right fits for their structure.  I can't think of a more liberating place to be than to see oneself doing what makes the heart come alive.

There are some downsides though. 

As it is with a country who has lived under dictatorial rule for decades, so it is with leaders who've been squelched in their attempts to be authentic.  But sometimes liberation can lead to license, or worse, addiction to self-empowerment.  Almost like the liberators deciding that being a dictator is not so bad now that power is in hand.

The practical danger for leaders who discover they're authentic wiring comes when they believe the organization/team must submit to their way of seeing the world.  For example, I'm the type of leader who needs to connect emotionally, before any type of transaction can occur.  This is important to me.  However, I can't expect that a client or partner will give me this every time we meet.  I don't have to deny or give up my value (emotional connection), but I do have to practice the art of give and take.  If I never receive the emotional connection, then certainly I'm in the wrong place/organization. 

Here are some tips on how to prevent your wiring from overrunning your path to becoming a quality leader:

  1. Make sure you're organization is a fit with your wiring.  This is not about placing judgment on the quality or health of your organization.  It's about what is the right fit for who you really are.
  2. If you've just discovered your authentic wiring, don't begin to believe that the sun, moon and stars now revolve around you.
  3. Learn to be a better communicator.  You'll need this as you start to live out what was given within.
  4. As Stephen Covey has said; "seek first to understand, then to be understood."
  5. Focus on the needs of your followers, before your own.  Leaders who do this build trust and loyalty.

1 Comment

  1. Great post Eric.
    I think the tide is gradually turning, as employers recognize that they just lose too many people when they stay with the ‘stick’ management style.
    I’m interested in your comment about alignment with the organization in your style.
    We so often find that organizations are really keen on ‘values’ and then do little work ensuring that employees have the same or similar ones too. I wonder why that can end in conflict…
    Martin Haworth

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