The other day I was speaking to a young person about his leadership style when something I said seemed to strike a nerve. It was like the conversation immediately came to an abrupt stop, and he pushed the “evacuate” button to get out of the conversation.
My question was simply this, “how do you think your lifestyle and actions away from the team are effecting your leadership of the team?”
The evacuate button looked like this, “I never wanted to be a leader! I was pushed into the position and if I have to change the way I act then I don’t want to be a leader.”
Well, let’s just say that it took a little gentleness on my part to continue the conversation. It did, however, bring up a point that I wanted to address. The so called personal life of a leader.
I know that one of the things that people always try to bring up is that there is such thing as a personal life and professional life. That somewhere there is a “clock out” place where we don’t have to worry about people looking at us. That we can make stupid decisions, and they won’t matter.
I would like to help with this misleading, leadership is based on character and character is what you are at your core. It is impossible to have two separate characters.
When we try to live two lives, we become hypocrites. It is someone that no one wants to be around, much less follow.
I wrap this up by leaving you with two challenges. The first is to take a look at your life as a leader. Are you trying to live in two worlds? Are you a hypocrite?
The second is this, ask those on your team to hold you accountable in this area. While it does make you vulnerable, it also lets your team know that you trust them and that you want to be the best leader you can be.