The historic landscape of leadership teams saw a sea of dark suits, but the tide is turning with a need to stand out with your own unique leadership signature.
Last year I worked with a fabulous photographer Andrew Collier to take some shots to use for my marketing collateral.
We talked about the image I wanted to portray, and for me that was quite an easy decision, I really wanted to convey the authentic me and how I worked.
Initially we worked indoors and then headed outside. It wasn’t the warmest of days so, Andrew asked if I might like to borrow a black jacket from his wife. But to me it was an easy “no, thanks”. My reasons were this; no client of mine has ever seen me wear a black jacket and I went on to explain to Andrew my beliefs re the changing landscape of leadership and authority.
The jacket has been lost from many corporate cultures in favour of people being able to demonstrate their personality; their authority being grown through strong transparency, purpose and direction. When did you last see Richard Branson in a dark grey suit?
Even the days of asserting authority through continuous directive communication is rapidly bring rejected and more likely to be seen as showing weakness and a sense of being out of control.
I believe the status driven leader will find energising their employees increasingly difficult.
Today’s leader needs to identify their own personal leadership signature demonstrating what they stand for over above hitting the bottom line. Tapping into the emotional intelligence of its workforce, engaging through communication that inspires innovation and motivates each individual into aligned action.
I define my own leadership signature as “success without sacrifice”.
All my clients are fully aware that I am a single mum who works academic hours 80% of the time. So where I need to lean into that 20% to run full day workshops etc, etc I can and do! Initially making this fully transparent did feel a bit of a risk, but leaders need to take risks right? I share that I have a support team: a great family, friends, mentor, VA, on-line strategic consultant, cleaner and handyman. I have released the need to do it all, (which is very liberating in itself)
What I have found is that by taking that risk it has brought me so much credibility, credibility that no jacket in the world could have earned! Why? Because one of my passions in business is time management and sharing my 4 step model that Creates time to lead. Initially I think people think “well if you can do it, in academic hours, then why can’t I do my full time role, in the allotted hours.” Then for all those that implement my model they come back and tell me it’s life changing! One person slashed 20 hours a week from their working week!!
So take a think about what you stand for, what is your Leadership signature? Be authentic, take risks, stand out as YOU and lead the way!!