I often ask my leadership development clients, “Who are you, really?”
Knowing yourself is critical to being an effective leader and the road to get there starts with this question.
For many, it is a very challenging question. Often, they simply answer with a list of roles: parent, spouse, or businessperson. I challenge them to look deeper and reflect on those moments that reveal who they really are, at their core. It’s the moments when we feel most alive and “in the zone.”
Have you ever had that happen to you? Or was it so long ago that you have forgotten what that feels like?
The Moments That Define Your Purpose and Who You Are
Think about those moments when you are most excited and thrilled by your life; when you are so completely engrossed in what you are doing that you lose the sense of time and your physical being seems to slip away. What are you doing when that happens? Who are you in those moments?
Barbara, a coaching client and a management consultant describes herself as a passionate learner and a teacher. She is constantly enrolled in different types of courses and webinars to learn new ways of approaching her business and then bringing those new approaches to her clients. Just the other day, she sent me a note that the class she was participating in was extraordinary and she was on fire! It was a delight to hear her energy about her latest adventures.
As for me, I am really myself and feel most happy when I get to be an observer of people and then use my observations to connect deeply with individuals. Plus I love connecting people to support their goals. Yes, I am a wife, mother and Executive and Team Coach. However, I feel most on purpose and alive when I show up for all my roles as an observer and a connector.
How This Discovery Can Turn You Into a Better Leader
The reality is, not many people – even accomplished leaders – actually experience these kinds of “flow” moments in their work because they can’t seem to be able to completely lose themselves in their professional lives, even if they love their job.
Is that a contradiction? No. It just means they are not approaching the work in the way that would best reflect who they are and would truly make them thrive and be even more effective in their leadership roles. That is part of the breakthrough I help my clients achieve during leadership coaching, and it all starts with figuring out who they are at their core.
So, I invite you to begin really noticing yourself. Stop identifying yourself as your roles. Start to get to know yourself from the inside out by paying attention to the things that get you excited, energized and “in the zone.”
Imagine how much more thrilling your work – and life, as a whole – would be if you aligned each one of your roles with the person that emerges in those moments.
Need help knowing yourself as a leader? Get in touch. I’d love to help. It’s what gets me “in the zone”!