Are you a leader who really feels the pressure in a demanding or unstable business environment, or do you remain steady in the face of challenges?
Business requires an ‘unconditional leadership’ approach, which means bringing a certain, present and serving leadership state even (and especially) when things aren’t going so well. So what does this mean for you and your team? Read on.
There’s a useful parallel between unconditional parental love and unconditional leadership, so let’s work that metaphor through…
Parents will understand what it is to offer unconditional love to their children. This means loving them even when the ‘conditions’ aren’t exactly as we’d prefer them to be, and even when those conditions seem outside of our control. For example, maybe the child leaves school before we’d like them to, or they drink underage or marry the ‘wrong’ person. As a good parent, our job is to offer love without regard to the conditions – so, no matter what’s going on with the child, we love them anyway. We could even argue that’s when they need us to love them the most, am I right?
It’s a similar story in leadership, where the ultimate aim is unconditional leadership.
That means we are able to bring a certain, steady and positive leadership state, even (and especially) when the ‘conditions’ aren’t perfect. It could be that the team is in conflict, or not delivering the results you require, or the market has shifted and the business is on the line. How well we’re able to maintain a steady leadership state when under pressure is the mark of a great leader.
Do you bring your best leadership state under all conditions, or does your leadership mojo rise and fall with changing conditions?
In our coaching practice, we meet leaders every day whose leadership mojo is red hot when the business and team are doing well, but they suffer when under pressure or the conditions in the business are not ideal.
They’ll say things like: “We are really under the pump and I’m super-stressed. I just don’t have time for my team at the moment. When things clear up, we’ll get back on track as a team.” This is just one sign of a leader crumbling under pressure.
So why do leadership wobbles occur? Here’s the answer:
When leaders anchor their sense of certainty to external conditions, such as how the team is performing and whether the business is doing well, we see their leadership destabilise when those conditions become uncertain.
Are you anchoring your leadership state to internal or external conditions?
The key to maintaining an unconditional leadership state is to find internal, intrinsic anchors for creating a sense of certainty which remain stable even when our external environment is changing.
It’s knowing ‘I can navigate this, even if I don’t have all the answers right now’. It’s understanding how to ‘be’ a leader, even when we don’t know what to ‘do’ just yet. It’s backing ourselves to ask the right questions and seek the right advice, when we don’t have all the answers ourselves. It’s offering a steady leadership state to your team, no matter what.
If you’d like a conversation about how to be a great leader under any conditions, just reach out. Coaching leaders to create a more effective and stable leadership state is what we do best.