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What is good leadership for you?

Have you ever heard a leader, instructor, coach or similar say:

– “Yes, but it’s about breaking them down and then starting to build them up again (as I want)”? I get equally pissed off (excuse the expression) every time I hear someone say that and unfortunately it’s too many times. These include a in the IT industry, retail and in dance sports. Everywhere.

Poor leadership

My question is, why does a person think that good leadership is about breaking down those being led? Where on earth will it lead to growth, creativity, development and/or a sense of belonging? What kind of person feels good about having their own boundaries crossed, because a single person who happened to get a title that says leader/manager/coach is afraid to let others grow? Because I think that many times it’s about fear. Fear of lifting others so that someone else might be “better” than me. Whatever that means.

Good leadership

A good leader who helps others to grow, develop and climb higher on their own ladder will be celebrated. For which leaders do we remember? Those who have helped us to see potential we didn’t think we had, those who have given us the space and confidence to try the next rung on the ladder, and those who have given us good advice and tips when things didn’t quite turn out the way we expected.

I advocate leadership that starts with self-reflection – to lead others, you need to be able to lead yourself. When you know your capabilities but also your limitations, you can develop and become the leader you want to be and that others want. Self-reflection does not always lead to seeing only positive things about yourself, on the other hand, it makes you human and perhaps more humble in your approach to seeing the people you are going to manage. Together you can grow, both side by side and together.

Neuro-leadership

I have long been interested in the brain and how it is affected by what we do, what we eat, how much we rest/sleep and how we breathe. And, how our brain affects us in how we react, think, etc. That is why I believe that Neuro-leadership is a good way to go. Because if we learn to understand how we actually function with brains that are still tuned to the life we lived some 40 000 years ago, we can go a long way in that alone. The newer part of our brain, the frontal lobes, located behind the frontal bone, is an incredibly important part of our function as thinking and functioning humans. However, it takes much more energy to use that part of the brain than other parts and it does not like prolonged stress. So, in today’s society of open-plan offices, meeting hysteria, unclear communication and constant access to emails, social media, chats, etc. we have a small problem. Or large.

This means that as a leader, you face more challenges than just what happens between you and your employees or between employees. You need to look at more factors, see the whole picture to create a dynamic team, where clarity leads to flexibility, reflection to creativity and development, and openness to trust and a positive working environment. Spending hours at work should be fun!

Present leadership

So be innovative, challenge (in a positive sense), communicate clearly, listen and ask for reflection from those you lead. If you listen and ask them to reflect, you will find out more about what works and doesn’t work in their lives. Their lives, yes. Not only work life but also private life. Because we are systemic. Everything we do affects us, goes with us, no matter what roles we take on during the day. You are leading people, not robots, so see the whole person in front of you.

So which leader do you want to be?

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