Admit it. No matter your exalted title, leadership is a scary thing. There are forces everywhere that attempt to mold you. As you enter the organization you’re looking for the norms and mores. How is it done around here?
But don’t lose yourself in the process.
My friend Howard Behar, former president of Starbucks, in his book It’s Not About the Coffee: Leadership Principles from a Life at Starbucks says, “Each of us has an obligation to ourselves and our organizations to think independently.” *
The point that Howard makes is that there are many avenues available to get your ideas across. It isn’t just the formal meeting setting that you must be invited to by some boss. Use all of the informal opportunities you encounter to discuss your idea. Seek opinions. Recruit fellow champions. Be comfortable with your idea being a side project for a bit until it begins to get traction. Then, relate your idea to your main strategic deliverables. Now you begin to speak the language of those above and it’s possible the ears will open up a bit and opportunities to formalize your great idea emerge. Ideas are just one area where it’s easy to lose yourself because it’s easier to just go along with the status quo.
You need to be yourself. Yes, you need to learn and grow but if you go into a situation thinking that you need to change to adapt to the situation, you may find yourself behind the eight-ball. Perhaps you can identify ways to do what you know how to do best in the situation. This trust in yourself and what brought you to the dance is extremely freeing. There is a reason you got the job – you. Use this important asset.
Growing and changing is good but not at the expense of independent thought. Don’t forget, You’re Brilliant!
*Listen to my Personal Brilliance – Up Close and Practical audio interview with Howard. Click here.
Photo credit: Kim