In All Your Endeavors, Where Do You Stand On The Bridge of Leadership
How does your leadership transfer across endeavors?
How effective is it from one environment to the next, whether adjusting from your professional to personal or any other environment in which you might operate?
How does it compare across the worlds, environments, and circles of both your career and personal life?
Where do you stand on the Bridge of Leadership?
We’ll get to what the bridge stands for in a minute, but first let’s talk about how we might shift our leadership abilities from one environment to another.
“True leadership is not limited to the ability in one environment but can be elevated through overall characteristics that allow someone to learn and evolve, no matter the environment.”
Leadership In Various Environments
There are times when observers of leaders and non-leaders alike witness varying levels of leadership across the environments of those being observed. For instance, of those being observed, one person might have a stronger leadership presence in the workplace than they might have in their personal life. So, their targeted leadership (technical, work-related) is more present – or even stronger – than their general leadership, which is their leadership attitude and preference outside of their technical or work world.
With the person in question, his or her targeted leadership might allow them to be the specialist in one particular area — their work — where they have the experience which has molded them into a confidant, able-bodied, and effective leader.
But what does their leadership look like outside of that role?
“‘Leading’ doesn’t mean you have to be out front and exerting all of your energy. True leadership can be exemplified through one’s passing action, demeanor, and character.”
Does the ability to work effectively in one environment necessarily translate to effectiveness in another environment?
The type of leadership effectiveness described here does not only mean technical skills. It means being effective in one’s entire work environment including abilities such as working with others, critical thinking, taking initiative, etc. It means taking a holistic approach to making one’s environment successful, both its mission and its people.
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Harnessing all these resources and abilities is a strong component of leadership – being resourceful enough to benefit the environment, regardless of title or position.
“This dichotomy of leadership ability from one environment to the next might be either a conscious or subconscious decision.”
So if one is successful in all those aspects in their targeted, specialized leadership, are they capable of carrying the abilities which allowed them to achieve those kind of environmental successes to other parts of their lives?
True leadership presence is transferable. Leadership is not only about the tools or mission at one’s disposal in only one environment but also speaks to a person’s ability to learn a new environment and sharpen their focus on any endeavor at hand.
The Bridge of Leadership
So considering one’s various environments, leadership might not be the same inside and outside the workplace for different reasons and preferences. Each person has their own needs and desires, and that’s completely acceptable as long as each of us can reconcile what it is we truly need and want.
It’s about the person knowing they have the ability to do so – to set the example of effectiveness – no matter where they might be at the moment.
“Leadership is not only about the tools or mission at one’s disposal in only one environment but also speaks to a person’s ability to learn a new environment and sharpen their focus on any endeavor at hand.”
The Bridge of Leadership illustrates the ability to arch your leadership across various topics, environments, and challenges. Picture each of these environments as points in your life. In terms of your leadership, where do you stand on the bridge that connects these points?
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Breaking down the metaphor of a bridge when it comes to leadership capacity, does your leadership only remain at one end or the other, representing your strength in leadership in those environments, or do you stand at the highest point in the bridge, where you can impact both your environments, representing that your leadership allows you to see and impact both points from your metaphorical leadership perch?
There might be instances where a leader is great in their professional life, in the technical duties of their career, but when they are asked to carry out another task or request outside of that area in which they specialize so much, the same level of leadership isn’t seen. In their professional area, they might have the drive, focus, commitment, investment, and curiosity, but they don’t carry that side of them over to other areas of their life.
How Do You Determine Where You Stand?
It’s one thing to carry out and react to our work, but it’s another to become aware of where we stand and, when actually focusing on our plan, determine that there are subtle shifts we want to make in our leadership presence.
This dichotomy of leadership ability from one environment to the next might be either a conscious or subconscious decision.
In the conscious decision scenario, someone might choose to limit their efforts or simply not have any energy left. Some people turn this leadership on and off as they need it from one situation to the next.
“True leadership presence is transferable.”
Some people might feel as if they only have enough of their leadership energy to demonstrate when it’s called upon – when they’re in the workplace and it’s somewhat required – that they don’t have any of that energy left to provide leadership skills in other capacities or endeavors.
For some people, it might be exhausting to “be on” as a leader in both official professional capacity as well as in their personal life.
That is completely fine. The variation of personal preference runs the gamut here as it does in every other case of comparison across individuals. We are all different and as unique on the inside as we are on the outside.
Alternatively, in the subconscious scenario, someone might not necessarily be aware that this shift exists. They’re not aware of it. The important thing here is that they become aware of it and then decide whether or not they want to make any changes, so that it goes from being a subconscious behavior to one which is conscious.
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Keep in mind that “leading” doesn’t mean you have to be out front and exerting all of your energy. True leadership can be exemplified through one’s passing action, demeanor, and character.
“Does the ability to work effectively in one environment necessarily translate to effectiveness in another environment?”
The greatest leaders will be able to transfer their leadership from one environment to another. True leadership is not limited to the ability in one environment but can be elevated through overall characteristics that allow someone to learn and evolve, no matter the environment.
One doesn’t have to be able to do both; it is beneficial but not necessary.
What is important is to determine, for your own needs, how you bridge your leadership, whether you’re capable of it, and whether you even need or want to.
So do you see where you stand, where you should stand, and where you want to stand on the Bridge of Leadership?
So…What About You?
- Has anyone mentioned to you that your approach seems to be different across the various environments in which they see you operate?
- How much of your leadership is limited to only your professional life? Are you as effective in your personal life as you are in your professional life? Is that shift from one environment to the other a conscious decision?
- Do you want to be as equally effective across environments? Or are you just tapped out by the time you’re finished with your professional duties?