Having worked in the corporate environment for over 10 years and supported thousands of people in the area of Leadership, I observe something quite startling and it is pretty fundamental to our effective functioning as leaders.
‘Those of us that are in positions of leadership do not actually perceive ourselves as Leaders’.
After a bit of digging deep I see this is more widespread than initially thought. I was invited to the Houses of Parliament recently as I regularly contribute to discussions on Leadership and Consciousness. It became evident that even at the highest levels of government we query our leadership potential and a sense of ‘imposter syndrome’ may ensue. In addition, given the fast pace of change and uncertainty we face across political landscapes, the economy, the age of millennials and technological shifts, it is not a mystery why ‘business leaders’ are trying to answer how to lead effectively in complex times.
Why do we not give our full attention to leadership when a lot of things in our lives depend on it?
Why do we not see ourselves as leaders even when we are?
Are we hiding in organisations and from ourselves? Do we care enough to make a change?
63% of millennials feel their leadership skills are not being fully developed by their employers
Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA)
The Problem We are not taught how to lead at school, university or even in the workplace. What does great Leadership look like? When I have asked people to come up with someone they personally know and admire as an inspiring leader I often get a response that ‘I can’t think of anyone’. Authentic leadership is a mystery to many, including the majority of global organisations but it is certainly clear that we would like to see improvement in ourselves.
‘Leadership is like a dance, we bring people to dance with our vision. We dance together’. There is Hope
I have witnessed that great leadership emerges independently of our experience, age, our role, circumstances or anything external to us. We can stop shifting the responsibility to our work place, to Learning & Development programmes which do not hit the mark, to our boss, environment or anything else. Let us look closer.
Published Imperial College Business School.