Skip to content

Leadership Identity Crisis: What Value Do You Bring? (#92)

The Confident Leader

I was at an Eagle Scout ceremony, and notable during the event was the scout master’s message. He told the soon-to-be eagle scouts exactly who they were. You could see each boy stand a little taller with pride. As a leader, who is reminding you of who you are?

Perhaps the best brand you can wear is your identity.
— Anonymous inspirer

This Week’s Edition

Today’s leaders are experiencing a leadership identity crisis. How do we combat this and affirm the leaders we need in positions they hold?

Clarify Your Thinking

The scout master resolutely recited the scout law over the boys, “A scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.” 

I watched the words positively impact the boys. Upon hearing them, I too, sat a bit taller. As I was listening, I was instantaneously assessing whether I embodied any of those qualities. As humans we are hungry for affirmation of our identity and will search for it high and low. 

At work, I have a front row seat to leaders who are battling the end of the pandemic and the disruption in the marketplace. Many are struggling to understand who they are in a post-Covid, post-everything world.

Daily, leaders are presented with an overwhelmingly critical evaluation of their performance:

As a result of the onslaught of challenges and critique, leaders are questioning who they are and their ability to lead in this environment.

  • 68% acknowledge they were not prepared for the job

  • 50% say driving culture change is harder than they thought

  • 48% say finding time to reflect is almost impossible

  • 47% say that developing senior leaders is surprisingly challenging

Thoughts Lead to Actions

Your sense of identity drives your behavior. If you think you are good at something, you will try it. If you don’t, you won’t. Therefore, leaders must possess a strong sense of their identity to operate with purpose, integrity, willingness to take risks and an ability to undertake change. 

We need a good and objective determination of our identity. Our identity is comprised of many elements, and at work others think of who we are by what value we bring to the team.  That value is driven by our strengths and the skills we’ve developed. To get an accurate assessment of our strengths here is an exercise to consider:

Step 1: Make a list of your strengths

Step 2: Ask a friend, family member and colleague to provide you a list of your strengths from their perspective

Step 3: Compare the four lists and synthesize them into like categories

This will give you an inventory of your strengths to draw from throughout each day’s challenges. To affirm these results, Strengths Finder 2.0 can provide additional insight

Enrich your vocabulary about who you are so that you can become fluent in the language of your identity. Believe it. Use those strengths to perform your leadership duties in a unique way.

The scout master concluded the ceremony by saying, “Few are worthy of the rank. Few achieve this level in their scouting career. The lessons you’ve learned have been hard. You’ve been trained. You’ve been prepared. You are a good and honorable scout.”  I offer those words directly to you as it relates to your leadership. “You are a good and honorable leader.” 

Boost Your Performance

It’s critical that we distinguish who we are from what we do, our role as a leader in our business. We don’t want to lose ourselves in our role. When that happens, our leadership is compromised. Meaning, we will take personally the feedback we receive from our team thereby potentially losing our ability to make objective business decisions. Watch this week’s video for a real-life example.

What’s Your Opinion?

What is your leadership identity? Share with me at:

Don’t let doubt count you out. Have a confident week!

Robin Pou, Chief Advisor and Strategist

If this was helpful, feel free to share it with another leader who needs to defeat doubt and complete their confidence.

Let’s Connect

Follow me on Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter.

What is “The Confident Leader”?

During the Covid-19 Pandemic, I began a video series called “Panic or Plan?” It was designed to equip leaders to navigate the doubt they experienced and to rise in the confidence they needed to lead during turbulent times. It took off. I then started this newsletter to equip leaders in the same fashion each week for the doubt that crashes across the bow of their leaderSHIP.

Let’s Do This!

    We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time.