Leadership Identity Characteristics
What do you do when you look in the mirror and realize you hate the person who is looking at you?
As an adult, you realize you have an identity issue, and you better solve it fast.
In September of 2009, I looked in the mirror and didn’t like who I saw.
I was a phony. I was a pastor who lacked integrity. I was a father and husband who got our family into credit card debt. I was a man who had a hidden addiction. I had an identity issue, and I needed to solve it.
The Cost of Not Solving Your Identity Issue
When we fail to solve our identity issues as adults, we encounter various problems in our personal, professional, and relational life. Here is a shortlist of potential problems a leader might be dealing with when they fail to develop their personal identity.
Depression – there could be countless reasons why a leader is depressed, when they fail to develop their ID they begin to live a “split life.” This split life will lead to feelings of inadequacy and then on to depression.
Resentment – without a powerful ID the leader starts saying YES to the wrong things and NO at the wrong time. When the leader is saying YES to the demands around him and violating their own ID they will find themselves becoming resentful of those around them.
Codependency – the leader who lacks a clear ID may find themselves living in the area of codependency or owning the behavior of others (and not owning their own behavior).
Blaming – when a leader doesn’t have a clear understanding of who she is, they might get into the habit of blaming others for their own lack of irresponsibility.
Disorganization And No Direction – “People who do not have a clear definition of themselves often lack direction and purpose. They cannot choose their own goals, likes, and dislikes. They get easily sidetracked by whatever anyone says to them.” (Cloud)
How to Develop Leadership Identity:
Define Who You Are – Begin defining what you are FOR and what you are AGAINST. Take a stand for something.
Confess – The word confession means “to tell the truth.” Get in the habit of having times of confession with a few close friends.
Start Saying NO – Practice saying NO to others and their demands on your life. When you start to say NO to others, you will probably feel awkward and maybe even vulnerable. Stay in that feeling and then connect with your friends and CONFESS to them the feelings you have about saying no.
James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner (2006). A Leader’s Legacy. Jossey-Bass Publishing.
Cloud, Dr. Henry (2009). Changes That Heal: Four Practical Steps To A Happier, Healthier You. Zondervan Publishing.
Click below to donate to Terry’s Life Coaching Services
21 Blog Posts in 21 Days
Day 9, December 14, 2021