Are you a woman leader with the reputation of being either “too aggressive” or “too nice”? Do you struggle to find a style of influence that is both effective in your context and authentic to who you are? You are not alone.
Let’s say yours is a primarily supportive leadership style. You know how well that fosters cohesion and engagement. But if you rely on supportiveness to the neglect of toughness, it can backfire. You may find yourself overworked, mired in consensus-building, and at risk of being perceived as weak or indecisive.
Maybe you prefer to lead with a tough, assertive style. That’s probably won you respect and a ‘seat at the table,’ especially in male-dominated industries or organizations. Yet if you lean too much on the take-no-prisoners approach to leadership, it can work against you: alienating the people you depend on and turning your reputation from ’superstar’ to ’shrew.’
If you’ve gotten feedback that your leadership style isn’t working, you’ve probably tried numerous strategies to address the perceptions. But these strategies often fall short, leaving you with the sense that you’ve been chasing your tail and feeling exhausted from the process.
Contrary to what you may have been told, your natural style – whether predominantly tough or gentle – is not a problem. In fact, it is one of your greatest strengths. To a point.
Stylistic criticisms tend to arise when you’ve over-relied on your preferred style to the neglect of the opposite style. Then you’re out of balance. It’s like walking on one strong leg and one weak one. You’re less agile, so you’re limited in the range of situations in which you can be really effective.
The good news is that you can become more effective by developing a blended form of influence that capitalizes on the best aspects of your natural style AND the best aspects of its opposite. Two strong legs, working in concert, to get the job done and foster strong relationships. We call it ‘smart power’ – a way to become more effective without having to become someone you’re not.
Sound good? Let’s get started. Click here to schedule a 30 minute call. We’ll discuss your situation, how I might help and whether Leading With Grit and Grace is a fit for you. There’s no obligation and the call is free.