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Would You Follow You?

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Does this resonate with you?
• Are you championing projects that you don't believe in?
• Asking your staff deliver quality that are in your opinion sub standard?
• Losing the passion for a profession that you once loved?

I talk to leaders in organizations every day and their values, quality standards and sense of self are being challenged more than ever before. Has there ever been a tougher time to lead? I don't think so.

The current economic climate means that mergers, redundancies and intense competition have driven some organizations into survival mode.

What do I mean by survival mode? Well, if you were stranded in the jungle with no food or water, you are likely to act differently to how you would today. You might develop a killer instinct, hunting and killing animals for food, be less trusting and move to a short term focus from thinking about retirement to surviving the next hour.

There is more than one way to survive in the jungle, however; you could become a vegetarian, decide that other creatures aren't your enemy unless they show themselves to be so and think about building shelter. It's just really, really hard to think like this when you feel under threat.

Leaders have a responsibility to check their thinking and recognize that there might be more than one way. After all, organizations are powerful, shaping communities and impacting livelihoods. Unfortunately, leaders are rarely challenged, constructive feedback is infrequent, and a safe space in which to express vulnerabilities can be viewed as an indulgence.

You have the opportunity to be the leader you want to be no matter the circumstances and the work starts within you. Below is a short film created by Nic Askew; the questions posed within it may challenge you as a leader and help you answer the question, 'Would you Follow you?' If the answer is no, there may be some work you need to do.