Finding and bringing forth the leader that resides within each of us is an amazingly unique experience.
Combining this discovery with cutting techniques that promote transformational leadership and optimal culture development is exhilarating for many of our clients.
The experience is like a child’s first time in a candy store. They want more, and they want it now. And the more they have the more exciting the experience becomes until they reach a sugar high. Learning to become an effective leader is a similar experience and equally as addictive.
Those of us that have experienced this amazing transformation also understand the right of passage that precedes our personal and professional leadership transformation.
Without this essential first step, our leadership development becomes difficult; often impossible.
Bob Anderson, the founder of the Leadership Circle, researcher, and author of numerous leadership books, describes two competing aspects of effective leadership.
Creative competencies are the eighteen leadership characteristics that his research indicated as having a high correlation with effective leadership. Reactive tendencies are the eleven characteristics that, according to Anderson’s research, correlate negatively with effective leadership.
The reactive tendencies and creative competencies have an inverse relationship in leadership.
For example, the greater the reactive tendencies, the less the creative competencies, and consequently the more our leadership effectiveness is diminished. The opposite affect occurs when our creative competencies are greater than our reactive tendencies.
Anderson’s findings indicated that most human beings are hard wired to be reactive.
Given this finding, our leadership development must begin by overcoming our inherent reactive tendencies so that our creative competencies can grow and flourish.
This can be a daunting task, especially when we realize that our reactive tendencies are habitual and the manifestations of previous life experiences that are deeply engrained within our psyche and create the lens through which we view the world.
Changing these deeply engrained narratives is infinitely more difficult than learning new leadership skills, yet, unless we mitigate and/or reframe these tendencies, our attempts at becoming a transformational leader are rendered ineffective.
Furthermore, and even more concerning, is the fact that these reactive tendencies serve as a psychological protective mechanism that shields us from vulnerability. Thus, letting go of them involves a conscious decision to remove this metaphorical armor and expose ourselves to a degree of vulnerability that we have been avoiding our entire life.
The key here is that this becomes a conscious decision to change something that has lived in our subconscious for a long time, thus making the task even more difficult.
There is a prevailing theory that we can never reach our full leadership potential if our attempts at generating creative competencies, or any positive change, are in competition with an underlying narrative that does not support our efforts.
Our subconscious reactive narratives are powerful negative forces that can easily defeat any attempt at positive change. People who continually fail in their attempts to produce positive change are likely subject to self-limiting beliefs in the form of persistent negative subconscious narratives.
Like the candy store analogy, these are the unfortunate ones who can only walk by the store window, never stepping inside, and wishing that things were different.
At Line of Sight Coaching we utilize what we believe to be the most valid and reliable leadership assessment tool available today.
The Leadership Circle Profile 360 Assessment uncovers our clients’ creative competencies as well as their reactive tendencies. Once a person is aware of their reactive tendencies, they can begin the process of identifying the underlying narrative that drives their reactivity.
Then, once the underlying narrative is brought to a conscious level, clients work with their coach to reframe the narrative from negative to positive while developing specific behaviors that counteract their reactivity and promote their creative competencies.
This process of letting go of your reactive tendencies in leadership development is successful when, and only when, the person has a desire for change and believes that changing the narrative is in their best interest.
Experiencing the exhilaration that becoming an effective leader provides is our reward, our candy if you will, for having altered the negative underlying narratives that have held us back for many years, and like the child in the candy store, we want more and we want it now.
At Line of Sight Coaching, we have created a quick ten-question self-assessment Leadership Quiz. Take this opportunity to gauge your leadership effectiveness and get an answer to the question… “Have you ever wondered about your ability to lead?” Take our Free Leadership Quiz.
Dr. Joel Small and Dr. Edwin McDonald, the founders of Line of Sight Coaching, are dental practitioners, authors, speakers and Business Leadership Coaches who work with healthcare professionals to help them build more successful practices so they can live the balanced life they seek.