I must tell you; I thought I was going to dodge the Covid bullet. Almost three years in and I had avoided the virus. It’s a tricky bugger, because come Christmas eve I was relegated to five days in a 20″ by 17″ room where food and water were brought to me and 4 other humans stayed far, far away.
Now, don’t feel sorry for me because this case of lemons turned into lemonade in the form of leadership lessons. (Plus, I am one of the lucky ones who have recovered quite well.)
Those who have experienced The Humanized Leader in book or training form, know well of the drama triangle. That melodrama of life with a cast of characters call Villain, Victim, and Hero is the baseline of what I teach about emotional leadership in the HL operating system. I have been known to be a hero parent from time to time. And, frankly, I know that has spilled over into my corporate life. If you find yourself “telling”, “solving”, and managing other people’s feelings, you may find yourself in hero, too.
My hero parent can show up as advice giving, making sure everybody is included, over-caring based on family history and just generally getting into the middle of what ought not to be my business. When I am in leadership, people have their own feelings, they figure things out, and history unwinds of its own accord. I love being in leadership, and still the pull towards hero is strong.
This holiday season was an acute lesson in leadership, humility, and letting go. I was not in the middle of my adult children’s relationships. I did not know what they were talking about or sharing with each other. I had no idea what meals they were preparing together. I had no pull to manage feelings or history. And….it was wonderful. They figured it out and got along and had meals together and just enjoyed being siblings (plus a girlfriend!).
The lesson…..stop interfering. This applies to any corporate structure as well. If I have done my job well, my people know expected results and they understand the culture and they also likely have history with each other. I want them to figure it out. I trust that they will. My contribution will be to point to the north star, ask great coaching questions, and role-model expectations and behavior.
Where are you still getting in the middle and, likely, mucking things up….creating confusion, control, and mixed messages?
For me, my 2023 is devoted to busting this hero thing once and for all. When I show up as leader/coach and drop the protection and mask of hero, I am a humanized leader. Humanized is good – it’s what the world needs right now.
Mary Pat Knight is CEO of Leaders Inspired – an executive coaching and consulting agency devoted to the development of emotionally intelligent leaders. She is also the author of the Amazon #1 International Best Selling book, The Humanized Leader.
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