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Are you a Chameleon or a ‘True to Selfer’ type of Leader?

6th December 2017

Authentic Leadership

Are you a chameleon or a ‘true to selfer’ type of leader?

This is not a trick question. If you answered a ‘true to selfer’ than that is great news. It say’s that you are clear about who you are as a person and not trying to be someone you are not.

You’re likely to act with great personal integrity and make choices according to your values.

If you answered a chameleon then that is even better! Why do I say that? Well, it’s because you are able to adapt to your surroundings.

To be a great leader these days you have to be able to read what is going on around you and act in a way that is going to take people with you. If you walk into a room and ask “How do I need to be in this situation?” You are likely to get a better result than if you walked in without any forethought and simply reacted to what was going on around you.

Adapt and flex

This requires a degree of flexibility and you can only do this well once you are a ‘true to selfer’. It’s not about blending in so no-one can see you – which typically is what a chameleon does. It’s about blending in in style and how you behave.

For example; if you are normally a highly energetic person who takes the lead and the situation in front of you requires a more thoughtful, reflective and calm approach, you need to able to adapt and respond easily and very congruently.

Moments of conflict are the best situations to look at. Do you rush in to get your point of view across or walk away? Neither of these are great options.

Better still, do you take the time to go to where the other person is and understand their position and then discuss a way forward from there?

Being able to blend coherently is an art and requires practice, a huge degree of self awareness and awareness of others.

How can I be more like a chameleon?

To develop these skills become more playful with yourself. We have a natural tendency to criticise ourselves and beat ourselves up when we get something wrong. STOP! Instead take a playful approach and be more curious.

  • Consider some situations in the past and how you could have acted differently.
  • If there is a relationship you know needs building, consider how you can act differently.
  • If there is a regular meeting you attend and you know you have challenges with it, consider how you may show up differently.

Try it out, see what works and then adapt.

Leadership is a life long journey so keep playing and practicing.

“Adults are more likely to act their way into a new way of thinking that to think their way into a new way of thinking”

Richard Pascale

If you feel you’ve explore all your options and need some additional support email me for a free discovery call to explore how we may be able to work together.

Photo by sanjiv nayak on Unsplash


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