Leadership: Our strengths can also be our weaknesses.

"Becoming a leader is synonymous with becoming yourself. It is precisely that simple,
and it is also that difficult".

Warren G. Bennis

Over the years I have explored many different profiling tools; each with their own perspective and way of examining personality and capabilities. One truth I have found through all of these tools is that our strengths can also become our weaknesses; our Yin and Yang. The challenge is to identify our strengths and notice when we move into a state of over-extension; when they become a weakness. As an example, someone who strives for excellence, can also become a hard task-master. Someone who is great at data gathering and analysis, can also move into a state of analysis paralysis. Alternatively someone who shows strength in strategic thinking, can also move into a state of strategic dreaming.

Hijackers such as stress, anxiety, a lack of progress, too much change or external pressures can all take us into a place of misalignment. Hungarian Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi founded the concept of Flow whereby challenge and skill are matched in such a way that we feel we are " in the zone" or "in the groove". When we allow ourselves to become unbalanced, it compromises our ability to operate in the flow, and thus function effectively.

All well and good, I hear you say, but how on earth can I maintain balance and an affective state when I'm surrounded by an over-extended environment?!

Start first with yourself. Notice the triggers that bring you into a state of over-extension. Create some type of pattern-interrupt that will bring about a change of state. Maybe it could be taking a quick walk, grabbing a real coffee, or even taking a deep breath and consciously relaxing your body. Gradually as you become more aware of the triggers, you will be able to mitigate the thought patterns and behaviours before they start to escalate. Like the old Pantene advert. says "It won't happen over night; but it will happen!"

Next engage a trusted friend or colleague so together you might begin to gently support each other into realignment. 

If the environment is such that it is creating constant stress and toxicity seek further advice from a coach, counsellor or professional representative. 

Remember, we all go there! We all have moments of over-extension and misalignment. It is through insight, a few key tools and support that we can re-set ourselves and spend more time in the power of our own flow.

 

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