A Leader…who me? Do you ‘own’ your role?

leader reflection in mirrorWe finished up a DiA program just before Christmas 2014, and were recently sharing our post-program observations about the cohort with the client. Along with seeing more confident, capable and authentic leaders, one of the key themes we shared was about accountability – how the majority of the program participants really understood and ‘owned’ their roles as leaders of people. Some came into the program with that ‘identity’ / mindset already, and others had the ‘light bulb’ over the journey – when they finally, truly ‘got it’.

Not everyone who is a leader sees themselves as a leader. As Sheryll Fisher describes in her short blog post, some don’t feel they fit the typical mould of a leader. She felt she was different to what she saw in leaders around her, and different to what she had heard what a leader needed to be. And it had not occurred to her that she was – in fact – a leader of others. She writes “and when the epiphany hit me, like a train, I honestly couldn’t believe I had been so blind to my own paradigm. I had identified ‘The Thing’ that was holding me back without me even knowing it; it was rooted in childhood experience and reinforced by almost every movie I’ve ever seen…”.

Fisher wrote her blog, because she felt sure that she was not the only person out there who doesn’t or can’t see that they’re actually leading. (Others may not) recognise their style of quietly achieving as leadership. There are no movies glorifying the introverted leader who would rather go in with a well thought out plan, thorough risk assessment and perhaps a sandwich (first aid kit, sat phone and back-up plan as well)!”

In the DiA program we often talk about the visibility a leadership role bringswhether you are aware of it or not – and whether you like it or not, people notice what you say and do. Not everyone actively manages their career with the direct intention of seeking a leadership role. Some find they get there by accident – because of the recognition of their personal achievements – by being a master of their craft. Many are somewhat ‘reluctant leaders’ – ‘I suppose I’ll step up if no one else will…’ Does this sound familiar?

Understand – Accept – then ‘execute’!

Obtaining an awareness that your current role is a people leadership role and then understanding the responsibility that comes with that – is a very important discovery for many. But awareness is only the first step.  Next comes the choice whether or not to accept all that comes with people leadership; owning that role – actively and deliberately doing things that create an environment that helps others to be their best.

So…what do you see when you look in the mirror? Leaders do not fit a single mould. There are oft-quoted characteristics and qualities of really effective leaders – but from what we have seen, the best leaders can be found by looking through a different lens. Firstly, the best leaders actually want to be leaders and secondly, they want to be the best leader they can be. They understand their role, they accept it and then work hard on living it.

Are you the best version of yourself – an authentic and accountable leader of others?


Link to Sheryll Fisher post – ‘The Reluctant Leader’

Tip: If the post takes you to a basic linked in page, try launching it again directly from this blog, rather than through the original link from the newsletter. (ie open this blog from the DiA website rather than from the newsletter!) 🙂


Want to see a nice video that validates who you see in the mirror?

Have you looked in your leadership mirror lately? What did you see? Are you looking in the right mirror? You are a better leader than you realize. Every day you are impacting, blessing and inspiring lives. Has anyone told you this lately? – See more at this link 



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