Are you drowning in expectations from your boss, your team, your customers…and maybe having a moment of not being 100% sure of yourself and your leadership?
Are you feeling like the confident you isn’t showing up right now…like you might have left your best leadership self in your other outfit?
If you’re feeling unsure, confused, unsettled, fatigued, and the weight of expectation on your shoulders… Don’t worry you’re not the only one.
I’ve started to see a pattern in the conversations I’ve been having recently.
I was speaking with a long-term client, a HR Executive, and in the middle of our conversation, she said she felt like she’d lost her leadership mojo. When I asked her what she meant she said, “Look, it’s not like I’m not getting things done. It’s just that I don’t feel particularly productive or effective. It’s just that my energy is not high. It’s that I’m really not that enthusiastic. I’m focused because I know I need to be, but I don’t have the same levels of motivation I usually feel.”
She also said that she didn’t feel like she was being particularly creative or imaginative at the moment because she was probably a little bit too operationally and tactically focused rather than strategic, and her work was being driven by others, rather than her being proactive.
In short, she didn’t feel like she was out in front and leading like she could be, rather that she was just in with the pack. And that’s not really where she wants to be.
During another conversation with a potential client, I asked what made now a good time to offer their leaders some development. And the response was really interesting. It was related to the leaders coming back into the office and having to do things face-to-face. Things that for the last 12 or 15 months they’ve been doing over the phone and over Zoom. And that these leaders are not feeling equipped. Actually, they seem to have lost some of their confidence around their normal leadership routines: the conversations that they need to have; the feedback that they need to offer; the performance reviews that they need to do, and so on. And it’s not that they’ve forgotten how to do them, it’s just that they haven’t done them for a while face-to-face. And so, they’re not a hundred percent sure that they can trust themselves to do a good job.
Both of these conversations are consistent with what I’ve been hearing from a range of leaders. It’s not that leaders are not showing up. It’s not that leaders are not getting stuff done. They’re just feeling a bit flat, not as energised and confident as usual. They’ve lost their leadership mojo.
There are a range of contributing factors, and I’m sure it comes as no real surprise. We still have some fatigue, carry over from 2020, we have lower levels of connection across our teams and between teams and leaders as a result of disrupted ways of working. We have a long way to go to navigate the new way of working and flexibility and communicating. And so the challenges do continue and leaders do need to continue to step up. And quite frankly, that can sometimes simply feel challenging, awkward, unsettling and even confusing.
So if some of this seems familiar, today I’m sharing a couple of ideas that might help you find your leadership mojo.
Because let’s face it, you need to keep it together so that you can be the leader that your people need, that your team needs and that your business needs. All leaders need to be positioning themselves well, setting themselves up for success, resourcing themselves for the long term, for leading the marathon of transformation in the coming years.
Here are three things that I believe are critical for you to regain your leadership mojo in the new world of work.
It’s important for you to be clear about the strategic direction, so that you can lead within this context, knowing and understanding the broader agenda. So consider:
- What is important?
- What is not important?
- What are the priorities?
- What are not the priorities?
Being confident in your leadership, that ‘yes you can’, is key to you showing up as a leader.
Consider how you can actively develop your belief in yourself:
- Reflect on what you bring to your role, your capabilities, skills, knowledge, and experiences.
- Remind yourself of where you have had success before.
- Remember to play to your strengths as much of the time as you can.
- Identify any critical gaps.
- Then actively close the gaps.
- Develop yourself, so that you know you can fulfil your role of leadership, you have confidence in yourself and your ability to actually step up and lead.
The third key is communication. That you have clear communication, consistent communication, in all directions. Communication is one of the keys to reconnecting leaders and teams.
- What communication takes place now?
- How effective is it for you?
- How effective is it for the team?
- How are you contributing to the communication?
- What opportunities are there to improve it?
When you are operating in those three currencies of clarity, confidence, and communication, what you’re fostering for yourself and the people around you is:
Not only do you know what needs to be done, but you believe that you can do it. Equally, your people also understand the focus and can believe in it too.
Connection between teams, and between leaders and their teams, has declined over the last year for obvious reasons. Fostering both confidence and communication develops connection for yourself and your people.
With a clear understanding of what needs to happen, and communication of this, you create certainty. And as a leader, you create certainty in your leadership….which your people will appreciate.
There is still much instability and uncertainty in the world, so anything that you can do to create a level of certainty as a leader is going to offer your people an anchor point, something solid to hold on to for stability.
The world and your people are craving leadership. Supporting yourself, doing the things that you need to do to find your leadership mojo: fostering clarity; confidence; and communication, is also going to support your team so that they can opt-in and join you.
On reflection, which of these 3 requires the most attention from you?
What is the first step that you need to take to support yourself and your leadership mojo?
I’d love to know your thoughts.
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