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How to Embrace Constant Change Without Constantly Needing 'Repair Measures'

We live in times of constant change. New products and services are constantly entering the market. Unknown competitors appear out of nowhere. Mergers turn the tried and tested upside down. Employees come and go. Top management changes frequently. Political interventions close off once-promising markets.

Economic life is in a state of perpetual flux. And cultures and challenges are changing faster than ever before. Each new generation brings altered perspectives and values. As leaders, we must confront these shifts.

In this environment, leaders are expected to perform here and now. When they fall short, the common assumption is that "something is wrong" with them. Their competencies are called into question. This happens not only in large corporations, but also in small and medium enterprises.

The go-to solution is "repair measures." Coaching aims to compensate for perceived lacks in competence. But if it were just about skills, the problem would be more straightforward. Skills can be expanded and developed.

The real issue underlying performance gaps runs much deeper. Unfortunately, "repair work" often starts early, in family, school, and beyond. Well-meaning interventions can have devastating consequences, steering individuals into a "repair industry."

The More profound Issue - Lack of 'Fit'

The concern frequently lies deeper than a simple lack of competence. Even if skills could be improved, it does not get to the root issue. The real difficulty is frequently a lack of proper 'fit' between the leader's personality and the requirements of the situation.

There needs to be an alignment between one's personality, the corporate culture and situational context, and the specific role's demands. Is this individual's personality truly suited for the current circumstances and challenges? Have the circumstances changed so much that there is now a mismatch?

Regularly the situation, not the person, has changed substantially. But the common reaction is to try to 'repair' the person. What's needed is not repair, but reassessment of fit. The person who was once successful may no longer be the right fit due to shifts in context and requirements.

Personality Enables Performance

A common myth in business is that people can reinvent themselves and change their core personalities. However, while we can adapt our outward behaviors, our inner personality structures remain constant.

This has profound implications for leaders in the digital age.

In the past, conforming and hiding one's true self was considered the path to success. Leaders were pressured to wear “blue suits” and act in prescribed ways, often against their true natures. But this kind of self-denial comes at a great cost, draining energy and leading to dissatisfaction, addiction, and burnout.

Leaders who suppress their personalities for too long become vulnerable. They lose touch with their inner motivations and values. Without a strong sense of self, a leader can be manipulated and lose credibility. This creates a downward spiral of deteriorating authority and effectiveness.

The demands of the digital age require a new model of leadership. With endless distractions competing for people's attention, inspirational leaders must step out of the crowd and reveal their authentic selves. They must connect with followers on a real human level.

While behaviors can be adapted, a leader's core personality cannot be reinvented. To lead effectively today, leaders must understand themselves deeply and lead with their true personalities openly. Suppressing one's inner motivations is no longer a viable strategy. Leaders who reveal their real personalities will stand out, attract followers, and lead with credibility into the digital future.

Know Yourself

Many leaders are ignorant about their true selves due to years of social conditioning that encourages conformity. From a young age, pressures in family, school, work, and society often force us to deny our true feelings and personality to fit in. This self-denial comes at a high cost, draining our energy and leaving us feeling dissatisfied as core emotional needs go unmet.

After decades of wearing a “blue suit” inside and out, we lose touch with whom we really are and what we stand for. This ignorance about one's true self has surprised us in countless consultations with top managers and leaders. When you've had to act against your nature for so long just to conform, you no longer know your authentic self.

This self-ignorance prevents true leadership. Leaders who operate in self-denial for too long become vulnerable and get tossed around by corporate politics. The inner fire goes out, conflicts accumulate, and the leader loses touch with the operational side of the business. Vital decisions get made by others. This erosion of authority leaves the leader feeling ineffective, leading to psychological crises or burnout.

Leaders who don't know themselves can't inspire followers. To lead, you must serve as a credible role model who lives your values. This requires self-knowledge and authenticity. Without knowing your true self, you lack the personal authority to lead.

Leaders Must Have Followers

True leadership requires having followers who voluntarily choose to follow. No one can force others to become loyal followers. The key is for leaders to have credibility that attracts people to their vision and values.

When leaders are not being true to themselves and are in imbalance between their inner self and outward behavior, it undermines their ability to be an inspiring leader. After denying one's true self for too long to conform, a leader can lose touch with their core identity and what they stand for. They may just be going through the motions without any inner passion or fire.

Without being grounded in their authentic self, leaders become vulnerable to just being pushed around according to external interests rather than standing strong on their principles. They lose the respect and loyalty of employees. Their authority gets chipped away as others start to make the real decisions. Ultimately, they can no longer attract and lead followers because they have lost touch with their own inner compass.

To be the type of magnetic leader that people want to follow, you must operate from a place of self-awareness and commitment to values that come from within. When your outward behavior aligns with your inner truth, you gain credibility. You become someone worth following, leading from the heart as well as the mind. Your natural charisma and self-assurance attract followers who intend to be part of the vision you embody.

When Personality Fits the Situation

Performance excels when our personality fits the situation. If we find ourselves in roles, on teams, and in companies that allow us to utilize our innate talents and motivations, we thrive. Rather than forcing a square peg into a round hole, we must seek circumstances that align with the essence of who we are.

When our personality fits the situation, we can fully express our individuality. We can draw upon our unique experiences, perspectives, and abilities to excel. This is when we get into flow, operating at our peak. We become deeply engaged in our work, losing track of time. Our energy is boundless.

Not only does this benefit us as individuals, but it inspires those around us. When we are in flow, fully utilizing our talents in a role fit for us, we radiate positivity. Our engagement is infectious, motivating others to up their game. This propels teams forward, increasing collaboration, camaraderie, and results.

Performance stagnates when there is friction between personality and situation. Like a square peg in a round hole, we grind against the walls of a role not suited for us. Rather than smoothing our edges to fit in, we must seek circumstances aligned with the uniqueness within. This is the path to peak performance and fulfillment.

Be a Role Model!

It is not organization that keeps the companies of today and tomorrow alive, but people who have visions and values and live them credibly. People who serve as role models. Real leaders.

Organizations need leaders with strong values who serve as role models for others to follow. These leaders must live their values credibly through their words and actions. They should have a clear vision that aligns with their values that they can effectively communicate to inspire their teams.

Leaders who authentically live out their values every day earn trust and respect from their followers. Their integrity and moral character motivates others to also uphold those values. They lead by example in both big and small ways.

True leaders understand that their role is to serve their people and organization. They put the needs of their teams ahead of their ego and status. This selflessness combined with their compelling vision is what makes people willing to follow them.

Role model leaders always stay true to their values even when it is challenging. They have the courage to make difficult decisions that align with their principles. This consistency gives people confidence to follow them into uncertainty and change.

Organizations cannot thrive without credible leaders who walk their talk. Their personal example sets the pace and culture. To inspire the best from their people, leaders must demonstrate commitment to meaningful values. This gives teams purpose and identity beyond the bottom line. Role model leaders point the way forward.

Take Responsibility!

What constitutes the core of our personality decides whether we are up to specific tasks, or whether we fail. That is why we should know ourselves better and look for the right tasks.

It's critical to understand your core personality traits and strengths. Self-awareness allows you to recognize what types of roles, responsibilities, and challenges you will thrive in. Don't just accept any task - carefully evaluate if a task is a good fit based on your natural abilities.

For example, if you know public speaking is one of your weaknesses, you should avoid taking on tasks that require giving daily presentations to large groups. Or if you struggle with managing details, don't volunteer for project manager roles that require extensive organization and planning.

On the other hand, if you know you have strong communication skills, seek opportunities that let you interact with and influence others. Or if you're highly analytical, look for problem-solving tasks that require critical thinking.

When you take on responsibilities that align with your inherent strengths, you're much more likely to excel and achieve success. This builds confidence and enables you to unlock your full potential. But when there is a mismatch between your personality and the task, it leads to frustration, diminished performance, and burnout.

Your core self remains largely consistent over your lifetime. By understanding it and seeking the right fit, you can take responsibility in ways that set you up for fulfillment and accomplishments that reflect your unique talents. Don't force yourself into roles not meant for you - your personality should guide the way.

Live Your Identity

Each personality is unique, a pearl. Search for people, situations, challenges that fit your inner core. Leave rooms, people, situations that constrict you. Your identity needs a beginning, an origin, a history, and a tradition that suits you.

Who does not know where he comes from (personality), does not know where he should go. Otherwise, the whole thing is not credible. But without credibility, you can wrap up.


Let Your Emotions Flow

Your emotions are unique and closely connected to your personality. Emotions show you're alive! Learn to deal with it, perceive it, use it skillfully. Your brain feels before it calls for action. People who cannot deal with their emotions, who do not even recognize them anymore, have had their day in digital times.

We must finally admit to ourselves: we humans are primarily not rational beings, but emotional beings. The ratio serves the emotion, not the other way around. Leading with authenticity, recognizing your emotions, and using them appropriately enables self-determined success. When you can tap into your emotions and lead with authenticity, you will live and lead on your terms.

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