How would you respond if someone asked you, “when did you first feel like a leader?” Do you have a leadership origin story that you tell?

When I begin my work with a new client I always start with a story. Your leadership story will reveal many insights about how you lead. We all have a life story and when we connect with that story, we become more self-aware and better leaders. 

Your origin story may be a tale of how you entered your profession, it could be a personal chronicle of triumphs and tribulations until you achieved your position of leadership or a recount of a crisis that caused you to emerge as a changed person. How you tell your leadership origin story, and the details you include or exclude, are specific choices you make. 

How do you tell your leadership origin story? Does it align with your present reality? 

Your origin story will draw on past experiences and memories. Explore your past, considering times you took action to help and support others. When did you serve as a guide or a mentor? Or were you simply born a leader? Begin to share different life stories about your leadership journey. Each story will help you to identify who you are and increase clarity about your leadership style. 

Remember there is a strong link between the story you tell about becoming a leader and your current leadership style. Be cognizant of your values and beliefs because how you remember becoming a leader and your current way of leading matters. Be aware if you are unknowingly stuck in an old pattern or narrative that no longer serves you. 

Practice telling your leadership story, so you become increasingly aware of your style. Share your story with others and ask to hear theirs. This will increase self-awareness, and insight and allow you to be a more effective leader.

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