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Women In Leadership Series – Leading Beyond Self

Leading is going first.

If you want to influence others, you need to be with them in a responsive, rather than a reactive way.

If you’re a parent maybe you’ve noticed that your kids generally model themselves on how you are being, instead of what you say. If you raise your voice and tell them to settle down, there’s a high chance they’ll react to your state of being (annoyed) instead of your instruction.

To a greater or lesser degree this phenomenon occurs with everyone we interact with, whether employees, colleagues, friends or family.

If you want to lead others, you need to lead yourself first, enabling you to show up selflessly. You do this by getting your-self out of the way.

By ‘self’ I mean identification with your personality structures – your habitual thinking and behavioural patterns, attitudes, beliefs, values, the roles you play and the labels you give yourself.

When you identify with your personality structures and someone says something that challenges who you take yourself to be, you tend to personalise the statement and then seek to defend yourself.

For example, if I identify as a woman and someone says something about women, because it’s personal for me, I experience being offended, or not counted in some way. But it’s not actually their statement that impacts me. It’s the meaning I make out of it, that I then attribute to their statement because of how I identify. This is the real cause of my struggle.

If I free myself of identity structures, but still have and own my preferences and choices,when someone says something about being a woman there is no hook for me – infact their statement tells me more about them than it does about me.

Leading then, is self-leading. It isn’t in what you’re doing, it’s who you’re being. It’s going first by clearing your-self out the way. When you clear your stuff out the way,you can be there with people in a selfless way, and facilitate them clearing their stuff, so they can be with their people in a selfless way…

Leadership isn’t another model, it isn’t another doing, it isn’t even a way of thinking – it comes uniquely from who the person is, behind all their stuff.

When it comes down to it, most leaders know what to do, they’re just not doing it because they get them-selves in the way.

When you get out of the way, your own unfolding and your own truths start to come forward in an authentic way and your own leading style emerges.

Developmental coaching is one of the most effective ways to clear your identity structures, freeing you to be an effective leader.

If you’d like to know more about it, drop me a line: soo@thecoachingroom.com.au

And check out our Integral Leadership programs below… 


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