There is so much fuss about leadership. And as usual, I am least interested in the normal, regular stuff. What excites me are newer ways, newer perspectives, something unique & something that stands out from the crowd. All credit to my Enneagram style 4. Well, that's my box, I am aware of it and I am also open to embracing the good aspects of other styles. But around leadership, I have a very different view and may not conform to the normal ways that we look at leadership. For major part of my life, I have been led by others. I somehow attracted some influential figures one or the other way around and would abide by mostly what those leaders would think & say. I bestowed those leaders to have an influence on me. And when I say leader, it can be your parents in your growing years, your teachers, your friends whom you looked up to, your boss during your formative years while in your professional journey, your partner and so on. A leader is someone who inspires you, influences you by their being to bloom into who you truly are. You get drawn by them, their ideas and have a deep sense of trust on them to be able to lead, guide & take you forward to a path that you might resist or may not be sure of.
When you are not conscious, not aware of yourself, have a distorted self-image within for whatsoever reason, have the attitude of always getting affected by other's opinions and don't have the courage to look into the leadership within you, this very essence of idealizing & having admiration for others, become detrimental to your self-growth in reality. This very attitude of being just a follower takes a toll on your life and your being. You slowly start to get molded into ways that you are being shaped by them. You then get enrolled to the leader and slowly start to lose touch with your essence. The very essence that makes you unique in your own ways. You become so absorbed in their ways and ideas, that you start losing confidence in your own decision making capabilities. You start to doubt your ways, your ideas and slowly put a silent mask & become that person who your leader wants you to be.
THE FOUR TENDENCIES
For quite sometime, I felt trapped with such leadership. No offense to anyone. Everyone did their best. But I was unaware of what the real problem was. And I always felt like a victim to such leadership styles, where the relationship was majorly vertical. And I completely take responsibility for enabling such patterns in my life. My being was so, that I attracted those leaders in my life who could lead me to be like them or if not, obey what they wanted me to do. This was conflicting for me! Because in the inside, there was a rebel who wanted to defy everything and break-free. Which I very well hid from the rest of the world. Do check out the four tendencies quiz by Gretchen Rubin to know your style. For your benefit I am sharing the link here quiz.gretchenrubin.com/. It is a free test and worth taking.
Although I was being an obliger, the rebel in me wasn't getting any outlet to manifest itself. So, there was unspoken anger & rebellious energy in my being. But, my love for my leaders was also equally powerful. So, I accommodated and it went on for many years. Because of all of these, I wasn't growing or evolving in totality. In fact, as an outlet, I took it out on others like me using the same style of leadership that was modeled to me by my leaders. And I didn't feel good at all. There was something missing in all of this. My quest was always to free myself, to fly, to reach the mountain top, allow myself to feel the freedom that 'the caged me' was feeling from the inside. But I wasn't aware of what I wanted myself to set free from. This created a deep vacuum within me. But, I never give up. And that's why I kept searching, kept looking for answers and ways to find the way out. Finally, I got the first taste of what that gap was when I attended a coaching intensive to enable my evolution process. There I realized, in fact had an insight & these were my words after that profound realization.
"For years I have been hungry for a leader that would inspire me, whose work would be transformative & include a mission that serves people to an exponential level, who would elicit the genius in me & help me bloom into the person that I am truly meant to be. It is rightly said that great leaders don't make you follow them but they create leaders. My long thirst got quenched today. I went there seeking for a leader to follow, but the gift that I got was that, that leader resided in me, I didn't have to look anywhere else. The intensive was so profound that it gave the voice, the purpose & the mission to look at the leader in me & not outside. Yes, that day the leader in me was born. That day a great leader helped me spot the leader in me and gave me the courage to feed that leader inside me & not look around. This was my breakthrough moment."
EMBRACE THE LEADER IN YOU
I flew back with this deep sense of awakening & belief planted inside of me. And true, I decided to embrace the leader in me. That's when self-leadership was born and I was gravitated to everything that spoke about inward journey. Because I very well realized that leadership is about who you are being & not what you are doing or telling others to do. You do so much of deep work on yourself that you make a massive shift in your being and from that space evoke & enable that self-leadership in yourself & others. To me this is the essence of leadership. Rather than trying to influence or shape others, do the work on yourself. Then you don't have to try to be a leader. You will just be who you truly are. This itself is a journey & doesn't happen overnight. It requires courage to stand tall to your own inhibitions, your internal demons, external pressures, acceptance of self, embracing your imperfections, feeling comfortable with uncovering your gifts that have remained dormant for years, wanting to transform despite of all odds, buckling up to look into the mirror & keep walking the path, embracing uncertainties and many more. And once you do this, a deep sense of liberation comes in, you feel so good from the inside. You shed all the masks layer after layer, you realize the beautiful you, inside & out. Life takes a new meaning then. You start taking actions which you never realized you could and your life starts changing for good. Good is an understatement, your life becomes meaningful & you look up to living everyday as if it's a new start.
And I always write my story authentically & vulnerably to let my people know that dreams do come true. We are all fearful, but when you choose to feed your possibilities, you start creating miracles. If you can dream it, you can do it. That every lasting transformation begins from within. What you want, must first be created inside of you. Spot the leader in you and feed it to enable you to newer horizon. Embrace self-leadership before you lead others. This is the essence of leadership.
I write for my people. I am drawn to serving people who resonate with my thoughts. If I can be that leader like the one who evoked the leader in me, my purpose this life-time will be fulfilled. I want to enable that leadership in my kind of people and I am looking forward to talking to them wherever they are, in whatever parts of the globe, in whatever sphere of life they might be. The diamond that I found, I want to gift it to them & enable them to live a life of freedom, joy, liberation, purpose, a life created by them because there is so much joy in doing this. This is my purpose.
If this resonates with you genuinely, do feel free to write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to have a one on one conversation with you.
Believing in you,
Life & Organizational Development Coach