Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Leadership - What Makes You Different?

As a leader, what makes you different? What makes you stand out? What do you bring to your team that no other leader has?

I was asked the question "What makes you different as a professional working on leadership development issues?" a few months ago by a prospective client a few months ago. I guess that my answer set me apart as they are a new client now.

As I reflected on my own journey about what has set me apart, earlier as a leader, now in my work with organizations, I realized that being a leader is often about deviating from the common path. As a 26 year old young woman I was tasked in leading a team of 100 staff and volunteers in the jungles of South America in the mid-90s. A lot of my seniors had their doubts. I look back at a very intensive 18 month period at the head of that project as rich with learning and setting the foundation for my later success. It taught me a lot about what I was capable of, and when it was critical to step back and let the team thrive as well. That was not always the most popular way of leading even 15 years ago, AND it worked. As a leader you can't do it all! Knowing about what makes you different, and not being afraid of "owning" that is key.

What sets you apart as a leader? What do you notice about where you are different? How that is enabling you, and perhaps holding you back at times?

As always, I'd welcome your thoughts and comments!

Have a great week,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010)
Phone: 416.996-TEAM
Email: info{at}potentialsrealized{dot}com

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