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How to Feel Comfortable as a Leader

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Leadership and Performance Coach and Founder and CEO of The Change Creators, Joanna Howes talks through how you can feel comfortable as a leader when it isn’t necessarily something you were born to do.

There are so many courses, books, webinars and guides on how to be a great leader but unfortunately many leaders are still lacking the skills to be the best they can be.

Many leaders will want to lead with integrity, authenticity and be a fair and generous role model but sometimes these words are easier to say than actually do. Being authentic and leading from a good place takes work, work that the leaders have to do themselves, as change has to come from the top.

The big problem, I believe, and one I am witnessing over and over again, is that some leaders are not identifying and seeing themselves as a leader. For many people who are promoted into a leadership role, they may be very good at getting the job done, but may have less experience in what it takes to guide a team.

This is very common and if you resonate with this, then I hope it helps you to know you are not alone. However, by not viewing yourself as a leader, you are limiting the results you can achieve for the business, your team and your own career goals.

Leaders I am working with are telling me that they question their conviction in decision-making, and they wonder about their ability to lead their teams in the way they need to be led during this period of time. The time to change this is now. As businesses face further uncertainty, we need leaders who can lead their teams from a place of certainty, and most importantly, certainty in themselves as a leader.

In my career I have worked with so many professionals who want to be the best leader they can, and many of them are suffering from one or more of the following problem areas:

 

Imposter syndrome

You feel that your peers and those above you are all smarter than you and that you are going to be found out. The voice in your head tells you that you are not good enough and self-doubt delays your decision making.

Avoiding conflict

You steer clear of conflict in the fear of not knowing how to handle it and making the wrong call. Reassuring yourself by claiming ‘how could you know what really happened as you weren’t there ’

Procrastination

You put off the stuff that really matters and you allow it to overwhelm you.

Being busy

You stay in the weeds of the day-to-day to show you are needed and can add value. You wouldn’t know what to do with your time if you let go and handed it over and empowered your team.

Control

You need to be in control, make the decisions for your team and have an understanding of everything that is going on.

 

Stepping into who you are as a leader

Your ‘self-identity’ is the key to being who you need to be in order to achieve your personal and professional goals. You must become very aware of the way you think about yourself and be ready to change your thinking to be the leader you know you can be, and your team deserves.

It’s time to step into your identity as a leader. Being and sharing who you truly are is so important to your leadership style. It impacts the way you communicate, connect with others and the way others respond and trust you.

The first big step you can take towards great leadership is building an awareness of what your current blockers to accessing your inner leader are. Most of our default behaviour, especially under the pressured situations that a pandemic dictate, can push us into being self-focused, acting on impulse and losing sight of what our team really needs. Being a great leader is about being honest, open and accepting, and when you do this, your team will feel they can reflect this behaviour back.

It’s only when leaders begin to understand themselves better and start to focus on the self-limiting beliefs and the habitual thinking patterns that they can discover how to shift these behaviours and make a real change in both professional and personal life.

We desperately need more leaders who are committed to wholehearted leadership and who are self-aware enough to lead from their hearts, rather than involved leaders who lead from hurt and fear.

 

Joanna Howes, Leadership and Performance Coach and Founder and CEO of The Change Creators.

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