There are so many blog posts on leadership that sometimes it is difficult not to get overwhelmed by the amount of information you take in daily. I know when I get off of work each day I may have 20 to 30 new posts to read on Google+ alone. Along with hundreds of tweets, many of them with new learning attached. There are literally hundreds of brilliant leaders, consultants, teachers and coaches giving great advice on how to lead your team, be a great parent or grow yourself as a person.
While I will be the first one to tell you that learning is a key part of leadership and personal growth, it’s just as important that what you absorb fits you. When I go looking for a pair of athletic shoes there is a wall in every store with many styles of shoes displayed. Not only will not all of those shoes fit me for size, many will not fit my personality or the function for which I am using them. I need to buy a pair that fits me. The same could be said about clothing or the car I drive. They are a part of what makes up me as an individual.
Leadership styles and attributes also need to be a fit for you. If you read about 10 ways to inspire your team and none of those ways fit your personality then they will not work for you. To be a great leader you must first understand you. Leadership is not one size fits all. The worse thing you can do as a leader is try to fit a mold by reading a series of stories and then trying to be that person or those people. Listen to what they say. Read and try to comprehend their story; then ask yourself does this work for me? If you feel it’s a good fit then try it out with confidence. If you are uncomfortable with that approach, try to find one with which you are comfortable. Just like shoes, you must be confident and feel comfortable before you wear them out.
Leadership is not for everyone and maybe as you read an article it will be more important for you to learn the type of leader you want to follow. That’s alright because the most important thing is you are comfortable in the role you chose. Life is about choices and one of those choices is whether you want to lead or follow. Both are important roles and vital to growth. A flower does not grow without food and water. People see the flower often not realizing how many things went into getting to that point. In life people often see the leader without understanding how many followers helped them get to the top. Learning from leaders is important for the growth of followers not just leaders.
As you learn always ask yourself these questions; how does this idea fit me and my core values? Can I adopt this concept and continue to lead from within myself? If I make these changes will I still be authentic? If you can’t answer these questions and feel comfortable then the idea is not a good fit. Do not change because others tell you they have a better idea. It is only a better idea if it will make the real you better at being the real you.