I used to think that successful leadership was all about the specific type of processes and systems I used. That I had use a lean, agile, transactional, participative, charismatic, autocratic, approach and incorporate a number of leadership processes. And among all this I had to show that I knew what I was doing and had a handle on everything and was better than everyone in the entire organisation without showing any weaknesses, and then I would make the best leader possible.
What if we told you that this is ALL B.S.
Leadership is 80% psychology and 20% mechanics. Not the reverse! It is not all about the processes, systems, frameworks, styles, approaches and ‘know-how’!
No matter what process, system, framework, approach you think you should use in leadership it all comes down to your own psychology. If you lack self-belief, self-awareness or self-regulation then you will not carry out any process, system, framework, or approach well. The process, system, framework or approach, will crumble and you will do damage to yourself, your team and the organisation.
If you do not have a robust mindset to handle various situations, people and environments then you will come unstuck and lose control of yourself, your team, and your projected outcomes.
Believing that a one-size fits all system, process, framework or approach will lead you and your team to any success is a direct pathway to distress, suffering and disorder.
Agency, follow through, and action are the critical components to Leadership success.
The psychology of Authentic Leadership is about mastering Self-efficacy, Mindset and Agency for yourself first, then others.
Self-efficacy plays a major role in our capacity for success in life and leadership. To build our levels of self-efficacy we must experience success, recognise our own personal successes and continue to appreciate our ability to overcome obstacles with effort and perseverance.
Mindset is a set of beliefs that you have that orients the way you handle various situations, people and environments. If you believe that intelligence, personality, situations and environments can be modified or adapted, then you show signs of having a strong Authentic Leadership mindset.
Agency is the key component to master the psychology of Authentic Leadership. This is when you decide to take action and then follow through. To take this deeper, agency is when you are in the driver’s seat, you make a conscious choice to take action and then you carry out the physical act of following through on your ideas or words – regardless of any obstacles or resistance.
To be successful in any leadership role in STEMM (formal or informal) individuals need to have a strong sense of self-belief in their capacity to overcome obstacles; to have the mindset to modify or adapt to people, situations and environments; and the ability to choose and follow through with action.
Leadership is not about a system or process; leadership is all about YOU!