Are You Tuned Into Your Leadership?




If I were to ask you to choose an adjective that describes the characteristics of your leadership, what would you say? Would you label yourself thorough, nurturing, honest or maybe bold? Would you choose the same word that your teammates would select to characterize your leadership behaviors? Do you think you see yourself similarly to how others see you? Have you ever thought about how you are coming across when you communicate, present or coach?

 “Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” ― C.G.Jung

 To understand what your leadership actions look like to others, one must look inwards and begin a search. By delving into our true self and natural actions and attitudes, we begin a process of learning what kind of leadership role we play.

Transforming into a tuned in leader is possible if we commit to looking inside and asking these important questions:

 What gets me energized each day?

I remember in school that I was periodically asked to write an essay on “Who am I?”.  At first I would resent the assignment and then when I finished, it was always an eye opener about what was important to me. Thinking about what excites us at work and in our personal lives can begin a powerful self-discovery journey. For instance, I am energized when I meet with an interesting person who offers a different perspective on leadership. I enjoy the banter back and forth as well as learning more about what makes someone come alive. People connections are essential for me. But maybe for you, meeting a crazy deadline is thrilling.

 Who is in my fan club?

Let’s be honest and recognize that we all need a fan club- people who “get us” and support our dreams. Try looking around and make sure you have the best fan club ever and if you don’t, add or subtract. It’s always fun to welcome in new fans as we grow and change.


When did I last learn something new?

We are all so busy that we forget the joy that comes with acquiring new skills or knowledge. Whether it is partnering with a colleague, being mentored by a boss or friend or reading a new book, step aboard the learning train and explore. Actively find ways to grow in areas you are most interested in and block out time to expand yourself.


Is there some activity I should not be doing anymore?

Re-evaluating your daily activities and deadlines is a great way to make sure you are focusing on meaningful work and not just spinning your wheels. Are you connecting with helpful colleagues? Are you serving others in a supportive way? How are you demonstrating leadership? Are you spending too many hours on social media that aren’t providing you with fulfillment?

 What ways do you tune into your leadership? How would you answer, “Who am I?”

(photo credit) 


13 thoughts on “Are You Tuned Into Your Leadership?

  1. Doing something new is so essential to understanding ourselves and our leadership style. Doing something new can include: going to a conference you wouldn’t normally go to, reading a book on a challenging topic, watching a TED talk on a topic the intrigues you…. Doing something new can open up so many new thoughts and realizations. We just need to do it. Thanks, Terri!

  2. Stretching ourselves in areas that we find fascinating can help leaders grow and develop stronger leadership skills. We need to make sure that we take time out of our busy schedules to reflect and explore areas we need to develop or are passionate about.

    I love your idea of a TED talk because I have learned so much from so many of them.

    Thanks for your wonderful additions, Jon!

  3. Love your point about doing something new. If you want to challenge yourself on this point without applying it to your leadership role first, do a “regular” task in a different way (like shop in the grocery store in an opposite way than you normally shop – getting uncomfortable can make you learn more about your environment). Great post Terri!

  4. I love your idea, Joy, of doing a “regular” task in a different way! That is a perfect way to begin to step out of one’s comfort zone and see how it feels. It can take baby steps to venture out and try new things; the key is to keep exploring. The more at ease we become with discovery, the more we will integrate it into our daily leadership routines.

    Thanks for your great suggestions!

  5. Loved the questions you posed! For me, I know there are some things I shouldn’t be doing any longer…I no longer get enjoyment from them. Maybe that joy or feeling of discovery will come back at some later date, but maybe not…

    If I focus on meaningful work, I am fulfilled. Am I worried that I will disappoint others if I don’t continue with the task? Probably, and I am learning that is an important quality for a leader as well…honesty in our communications.

    Thanks for prodding me to think this through a little more!

  6. I love all of these questions, Terri! (by the way… I’m in your fan club!)

    I think that when I’m on a path I’ve been traveling for a while but I’m feeling burnt out, what lights me up has changed AND more often than not I’ve changed too. These are excellent questions to revisit on a periodic basis! Appreciate the reminder 🙂

  7. It is always a good idea to take stock in what we are doing and if it does not provide us joy or learning, we might want to re-evaluate pursuing it. Of course there are always things we feel compelled to continue but that’s alright as long as we have a balance with the interesting explorations.

    You also bring up a great point about being fulfilled. That needs to always be our goal because if we feel satisfied in the work we do, we will be happier and more productive.

    Thanks LaRae!

  8. I also love to pose lots of questions to myself especially when I feel I am at a crossroad. These questions help me refocus on what I should be doing and what I want to pursue next.

    Yes, Alli, we do change constantly and that’s why we need to check-in with whether or not our choices are supporting our passions and goals.

    Thanks for your support in my fan club! I’m in yours as well!

  9. Fine tuning our leadership is such and important metaphor…. we get so accustomed to singing the same song, that we may not notice the need to adjust. Others may hear the dissonance sooner than we do ourselves. Good to also ask others what they hear.

  10. Love the metaphor Karin of fine tuning!

    We do get stuck doing the same things and not realizing it. It is critical to step out of our shells and take some risks. Shaking things up and keying into how others see us is so helpful in developing our leadership.


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