The Leading Self Module, was set at a Lakeside resort in Naivasha.
The lake views and natural surroundings made learning quite interesting.
We arrived at Camp Carnelley’s a little after 9.30am, checked in into our amazing bandas and made our way to the buffet for a scrumptuous breakfast.
Thereafter, at the fireplace we set out to make our round of Introductions and get settled into learning.
Before we came to the Learning, we were given a few reading materials to read up on:
The module was designed to find out the meaning of Leadership and Management, Characteristics of Successful business leaders/managers, what mindsets can help us grow as leaders, who am I as a leader and what is my management style.
Having awareness of your own leadership/management style as well as knowing your strengths and development areas is an essential step towards becoming a high performing business leader. Also, being able to work effectively with people of other preferences/styles is key when it comes to managing people, but also when building relationships with clients/customers and other stakeholders.
I have to say the teaching method is quite interactive. We were often put in groups/pairs to discuss things like: Leadership Storytelling where we had to discuss How Leadership is manifested in your family, what examples of leadership have inspired you, Our own leadership styles, and what would our leadership legacy be.
Exercises like the one mentioned above were meant o be a cause for self reflection, and bonding with the team, and also being authentic with others about ourselves. Not all leaders have a great story to tell.
There as also the “Waiter in the Desert” exercise where we were divided into two teams, and each team had to have half of the members blind-folded. The objective was to understand that the blind (those who are non-leaders/managers) also need to be considered in decision making. Basically, we needed to reflect on who were the blind in our organizations, and get them involved.
Leaders Vs. Managers?
Then we came to the core of discerning the difference between Leaders and Managers.
Managers usually are seen: Doing, Organizing, Staffing, Budgeting, Performing, Ordering, Predicting, Not taking risks.
Leaders on the other hand are know for: Being Visionaries, Seeing, Enrolling, their energy, taking risks, their passion, change.
To be a great leader we need to have BOTH attributes.
This was my most favourite part of the module. We were first introduced to the Stretch Zone-Panic Mode Mindsets.
Most of us are used to being in the comfort zone and staying there for ever Anything outside that usually takes us into Panic Mode (zone). But there is one more mindset that comes in between these two, and that the STRETCH ZONE.
The Stretch Zone is where ADAPTIVE LEADERSHIP comes in. This is where the difference between Authority and Leadership comes in. (Authority is given and can be taken away, and is usually an exchange)
Formal Authority comes from a Position and is important and relevant to that position.
Informal Authority is built, through trust, through your personal power, through respect, admiration.
Most Managers are more focused on the Formal, than Informal Authority.
One can increase their circle of influence by moving from Formal to Informal Authority.
Leadership is basically the dance on the edge of authority and into leadership territory.
“Leadership is an Action, not a Position”
The Comfort Zone – Stretch Zone – Panic Zone Exercise
Comfort Zone: Work done repeatedly making you feel relaxed, confident, trusted, prepared, composed, in control
Stretch Zone: You have the Skills for this work, but have never done it, making you feel stressed, nervous, tentative, anxious, challenged, uncomfortable, fearful, excited
Panic Zone: You do work for which you have no skills, and no Idea how to do it, making you feel eager, angered, effed-up
As Leaders, we should lean to move from the comfort zone to the stretch zone, making it into our new Comfort zone.
Look at it like an elastic band. Stretch yourself into the stretch zone, but not to the point where you snap (Panic Zone)
Now, you may ask, why should I move from my comfort zone? Well, we have all heard this saying:
“Life happens outside your comfort zone”
In Leadership, when you do out of your Comfort Zone, you not only progress, but you get to learn about your strengths and get a whole new doze of Self-Confidence.
It also helps you manage others better and to produce more leaders. While your team work in their comfort zones, you can move into the stretch zone and do other things, and then bring them into their new comfort zones as you move further.
Sometimes, you should try deliberately going into the Stretch Zone. You never know what you are capable of doing until you try.
Growth Mindsets Vs. Fixed Mindsets
We are all born with a Fixed mindset (intelligence and talent).
With a Growth mindset we can develop both our intelligence and talents.
It’s more about Saying “NOT YET” rather than just “NO”
The 30-30 Exercise
The day ended with yet another interesting exercise. This time we all had to take turns and stand infront of the class and explain “Why anyone should be led by me?’
The catch was that although you were only given 30 seconds to present your case, you had to first stand in silence for 30 seconds infront of everyone.
Find out the reason behind this exercise in the next post.