Think about the leaders who inspire you – the ones who’ve made the biggest difference in the world. The catalysts for social change, the humanitarians who ease suffering and promote equality, and the business leaders who’ve changed the way we interact with the world and each other.
Was the impact they created fuelled by leadership training?
I very much doubt it.
They might well have picked up skills along the way that helped them implement their big vision more effectively, but the legacy of great leaders isn’t made in a seminar room or workshop.
Here at One of many our mission is to empower one million grassroots women leaders. We call ourself a “leadership training company”. But very little of what we teach is traditional leadership techniques.
And that’s for good reason. Our belief is that you already have everything you need inside you to become the leader you were born to be. What you need is:
- Support to identify and enhance your personal leadership strengths
- Removal of the barriers that get in your way of your brilliance
- A foundation that supports you in the 5 key areas of your life: wealth, vocation, relationships, vitality and community
Notice how “Leadership strategies” isn’t on that list? It might be surprising, but we don’t think that traditional training specifically around leadership is what you really need. In fact, our Lead The Change program looks very different to most other training programs for future leaders.
Here are 5 reasons why:
Why Some Leadership Training Doesn’t Work
1. It ignores the evidence
What makes an effective leader? Think about the human beings who have really made a difference in the world. What most of them have in common, I think, isn’t that they knew the latest ‘techniques’ or ‘tactics’.
It’s that they were passionate about their mission, and authentic in how they conveyed it. That integrity, that wholeness, is what draws people to certain individuals.
Anita Roddick was the visionary businesswoman who grew The Body Shop into one of the best known British brands. In her words,
“I want to work for a company that contributes to and is part of the community. I want something not just to invest in. I want something to believe in.”
It’s this ‘something to believe in’ that marks truly visionary leaders out from the skilled managers who never quite seem to inspire the dedication that would drive their missions forward.
Leaders have purpose – a driving belief that inspires others to dive in and support them. And your purpose comes from within you. It’s not something that anyone can teach you.
The best we can hope is to create environments where it is revealed.
What are you passionate about? What makes you angry? If you ruled the world, what would be the first thing you’d change?
These questions are what will give you hints toward your purpose.
2. It emphasizes the HOW
Traditional leadership training tends to focus our attention externally: its aim is to equip you with the skills to influence others, and manage teams effectively.
But research by McKinsey and company called ‘Centered leadership: How talented women thrive’ found that wasn’t what distinguished the successful women they spoke to.
They found the most successful leaders weren’t those with the strongest skills when it came to taking care of others, but who had the best strategies in place to manage their own energy. They found, “it’s about having a well of physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual strength that drives personal achievement and inspires others to follow.”
In their research it was those women who looked after their internal needs, that made the impact they were capable of.
What strategies do you have for managing your energy, replenishing yourself, and ensuring you stay focused and resourced?
3. It underestimates our power
When we’re at our best, thriving, and managing our energy in the way that works for us, we’re able to step into a centred and powerful place as a leader.
At One of many we use 5 Women’s PowerTypes: Warrioress, Mother, Lover, Sorceress and Queen; to describe the different aspects of leadership we all have access to.
These PowerTypes aren’t tactics we need to be taught. They’re instinctive modes of being, that each of us have access to. Sure, some of us rely on one or two more than the others, but we can learn to access all five and harness them for when the situation requires. The power to move others, to inspire action, to stay on purpose and to achieve great things is there within all of us.
What kind of power do you have access to? What’s your natural style of leadership, and what other ways of being can you draw on when you need them?
4. It focuses on the wrong things
There’s an old saying that leaders are “born not made” – and to be clear, that’s not what I’m suggesting when I say that leadership training in the traditional sense isn’t effective.
The innate qualities of good leaders are within each and every one of us. But we’ll only get to discover what they are if we truly focus on the right things.
When we spend time honing our skills of managing people or setting strategy, we’re ignoring the fact that more often than not it’s the rest of the stuff we’ve got going on our lives that detracts from our leadership.
In other words, you’ll never be the leader you were meant to be if you’re exhausted from sleeping on the couch because you couldn’t face sharing a bed with your partner.
It’s hard to inspire a team when you’re burned out because you keep getting more work piled on top of you, and you can’t seem to say “that’s enough”.
It’s hard to bring leadership to the family when you’re feeling sluggish having wolfed half your weight in Nutella on toast when you got in from work because you felt so miserable about the snidey email your boss sent you.
It’s these kinds of things that are the real barrier to our success. All the management techniques in the world won’t help us without the support we need to thrive in our day to day lives.
What’s blocking you from being the most effective leader you can be? What’s taking up your energy right now that doesn’t serve your big mission? How can you get the support you need to free yourself from that today?
5. It’s old-paradigm
Our paradigm is the reality we live in. The example I often give is of a fish in water – it doesn’t know that water is its paradigm, until it’s shaken out of it.
In the same way, we’re often not conscious of the wider paradigms we’re operating in until we’re given a snapshot of what life might be like without them. When it comes to stepping into leadership, we need to be a part of a new movement for change that gives those around us the courage to do things differently.
The old paradigm of leadership is:
- Hierarchical and linear
- Celebrates the individual
- Looks at results in terms of productivity
- Seeks to motivate others using strategies and techniques
- Is taught through training
In the new paradigm, leadership is:
- Flexible and cyclical
- Requires collaboration and connection
- Looks at results in terms of impact
- Inspires others with that big mission/purpose
- Arises naturally when we’re thriving in the key areas of our lives
Are you ready to be a part of the change?
If you’re someone who is interested in leadership (your own, or bringing the best out in others) and you’re tired of the old way and ready to tap into a brand new way of making change in the world, you might be interested in becoming a One of Many Certified Coach.
Our comprehensive training has helped brand new coaches discover the fulfillment of changing lives for a living; seasoned coaching and leadership professionals revitalize their practice and transform their clients’ lives with powerful on-trend tools, and leaders and managers of all kinds create massive shifts in organizations worldwide.
To find out more and book in an application call with one of our team, click here for the full details.
Our intention is simple. To support professional women to handle the day-to-day so they can unleash the bigger impact they feel called to make in the world.
We believe real leadership is less about skill, and more about having a well of physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual strength to draw on. Every week we support thousands of grassroots leaders globally with our free articles, videos and online trainings with powerful tools and methodologies created BY women FOR women.
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