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Leadership is not a mask you put on

Dear Friends,

what does it actually mean to be a successful leader ?

That's a question I reflected deeper on.

As a leadership coach and trainer, I've seen countless leaders of different age groups.
And after hundreds of trainings, I have started to see patterns of what an effective and successful leader is like.

By ‘successful’ I mean sustainably successful,
which again means to be a leader who realizes the goals with the team, who has an emotional rapport with the team, and who feels happy and content in this role at the same time.

People who are not sustainably successful leaders...
… see leadership as a role in which they have to pretend, so they try to play a leader.
… try to enforce strict rules.
… try to show their position through their formal power.
… are fear-driven people.
… think they have to be distant and they can't show their human side. So, they mostly don't show when they make mistakes and try to cover them up.

On the other hand, sustainably successful leaders who thrive in leadership are people who see their role as servants of their team, and as servants of the higher purpose of an organisation.

Their main focus is in making sure that their team is taken care of.
They are making sure that the goals are achieved in a matter that all individual members of the team can focus on their strengths.
They don't build an artificial wall between them and the team.
They show vulnerability, which means if they make a mistake, they are open about it and don’t try to cover it up.
They stand up for the team whenever the goals haven't been achieved or if there is criticism from the higher management or from the customer.
They take full responsibility for those mistakes.

Whenever there is success happening, they put the team in front and they point out that this was not the leaders’ achievement but the achievement of all the team members.

Leadership is not a mask that you put on.
Leadership is showing more of yourself and going places that are scary for you.
Leadership is showing and emphasizing your true self.

And I’m not just talking about leaders in a formal leadership position.
I’m talking about every person who takes on a leading role in their life, for example raising your kids, managing a team for a student’s project, doing voluntary work where you have to lead an informal team…and many more.

What kind of leader are you?

Much love,
Kai

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