Doing leadership your way
Updated: Oct 16
As you probably know, I cohost the How To Take The Lead podcast with Lee Griffith, and since we have been collaborating we have often referred to Jacinda Ardern as a positive role model when it comes to doing leadership her own way. She has definitely been a breath of fresh air is a sea of pale, male, stale (to quote my cohost Lee) leadership.
I have always admired the way she has been able to take tough decisions, communicate openly and act with compassion. And she has done just that in announcing her decision to stand down as New Zealand PM. Admitting that her tank is empty and she needs to prioritise her wellbeing, family and life outside of work, as well as ensuring that the role of leader is fulfilled by someone who is able to give their best, feels brave. It shouldn't have to seem courageous to be open and honest in this way as a leader but it is not that often we hear such honesty from leaders. Given the way in which she has conducted herself as a leader, I am not at all surprised by how she has communicated her decision.
I talk a lot about prioritising your own wellbeing, development and needs. Often we perceive this as being selfish, or we feel guilt over doing this when we are working in a busy profession, leading teams under pressure to meet demands. We must remember that if our tanks are empty, it's harder to offer the support we need to as a leader.
Do you make the time to reflect on where you are at, how you are feeling and what you might need?
Listening to yourself and understanding where you are at is so important. Whether you do that through taking time out (a day, a week or longer), here are.a few prompts to help your thinking:
Am I having the impact I want at work?
Are the actions I am taking helping me deliver my purpose?
Do I have clarity on my strengths and my areas for development?
Do I have enough opportunities to do the things that bring me joy?
What does my ideal work/ life balance look like?
By asking myself some of these questions over the last few years I have definitely gained clarity on my purpose, been able to focus on doing more of the things that play to my strengths and make me happy, and set some healthy boundaries to ensure that I don't spend all of my time working.
I'd love to hear what comes up for you.