Many of us in leadership positions find that we are responsible for results though we have no overt authority over the people upon whose performance those results are dependent. In short, our role as a leader is often more about leading with influence rather than authority.
In fact, even those we do have authority over are way more eager to follow a leader who inspires rather than one who exerts their authority.
At a recent leadership workshop we discussed the idea of leading by influence as like using “The Force” in Star Wars, where success is based on how you use your influence as you can see Yoda saying here in the mural section.
Sometimes we learn the leadership behaviors we prefer by experience them (a positive leader who inspires, like Luke Skywalker), and other times by experience the opposite or lack of them (a negative leader who strikes fear, such as Darth Vader).
In this case, we discussed the various behaviors participants had witnessed or experienced from their own leadership that they wanted to emulate (Lukeness) or avoid (Darthness) replicating with their own teams.
Even in the beginning stages of laying the groundwork for (all) our relationships, including with those folks we are leading, a willingness to be open and share ourselves is essential.
As such, Luke chose to expose his flaws and be vulnerable with others, rather than exhibit secrecy and defensiveness shown by Darth.
And appreciating the efforts of his team, even in failure, rather than penalizing them was key to Luke’s success. Darth et al however, severely punished anyone who was not meeting their expectations.
Looking back at your own leaders and coaches, what are the Lukeness characteristics you’d like to model yourself and which Darthness ones would you like to let go of?
Let us know in a blog comment below!