By Bec Howard and Dannie Lu Carr, co-founders of The Good Witches of the North
Imagine you had a wand that could grant you five leadership powers which would transform your work life dramatically, enhance your performance, heighten your connection and make your days less tiring. Would you be interested?
Well here are the five leadership powers which mean you can embrace being imperfect and experience how leading authentically creates the success you have been looking for, both at work and at home.
Leadership Power #1: Being Yourself
An obvious power, but not one many people choose to use at work. Being yourself takes courage, and courage comes from the Latin 'cour' which means to tell your story with all of your heart. Being human, being real means that you are ready to say "Do you know what?" I AM good enough" – it’s liberating, it's less tiring and your connection with others is dramatically enhanced because they get you, they see you, and in fact all of you is available for others to connect to. Not just the bit that you're happy to put on show, but all of you.
Leadership Power #2: Vulnerability
Yes, vulnerability – for when I am weak then I am strong. Showing vulnerability means that we decide to drop the need for control, to appear perfect and the fear that goes with it. Being vulnerable means giving up the "who" we thought we should be. We accept ourselves and we are happy in our skin and embrace our imperfections. This breeds an honesty of connection, we say it like it is, and we say it first - and it is this bravery of being vulnerable, showing and sharing our emotion which, when experienced, will feel like a breath of fresh air and is much needed in many meeting rooms right across the UK.
Leadership Power #3: Self-awareness
Self-awareness is a key leadership power and a strong predictor for overall success. We can only truly start to be self-aware once we have embraced being ourselves and allowed ourselves to be vulnerable, otherwise we are aware only of our persona and not our real self.
Awareness of self allows us to understand our impact on others, and it allows us to understand and accept our responsibility for the current relationship dynamics we face at work. It gives us the opportunity to explore how the way we perceive a situation is impacted by our behaviour - as Jung stated, "we see the world not as it is but as we are", and the resulting responsibility enables us to then view the situation from the perspective of those around us. Wisdom comes from multiple perspectives, and unless we seek to understand ourselves first, we cannot hope to understand the position of others and benefit from the insight and influence that affords us.
Leadership Power #4: Passion
This is a leadership power that cannot be faked as your followers will perceive the difference between a message delivered with intensity, and a message delivered with real passion. Passion is marked out by conviction, it means "I believe in this, this is important to me", and passion comes with authenticity. The power of passion is what pushes an idea forward and moves through the roadblocks that are in its way. Leaders who are self-aware harness their passion and use it constructively to channel and build their desires. Passion sees them connect and recruit followers to help them do just that.
Leadership Power #5: Story
This is a power that allows you to be deeply seen. It means that you have the power of story, and you have the courage to tell your story to audiences, meetings, to groups of people both large and small. Story is not just a Powerpoint presentation, or a corporate talk with no real feeling, but the story of who you are, what motivates you, and why what you are doing is important. It is the human story which underpins why you are trying to do what you are doing. Stories connect, they are universal, and they are how we pass learning down from generation to generation. Seek out places to tell your story and see how your honesty and openness connects at a much deeper level.
When you embrace these Five Leadership Powers and you lead authentically, and you are honest and show yourself as you truly are people magically appear in front of you and join you, they become your followers and help you make your goals and aims come true.