Cultivate Imperfection: Why Going Full Frontal is The Root of Successful Leadership
By Heather Gibson, Managing Director at Pendulum Partnership
I cultivate leadership and love being a leader. It’s a very large part of who I am and my mission is to help other leaders develop their mindset through enlightened discussion and reframing that is grounded in my own leadership experience. Whites of the eyes conversation; relentless agility to create and execute new concepts; helping businesses to find new routes to market; pounding the streets in the face of major economic disruption; high octane pace and adaptability; and communicating across generations of leaders and entrepreneurs to interpret and write their unique stories.
At the table right now are some stark choices on many levels; systemic, societal, economic and demographic. In all of these realms outstanding leadership is vital to delivery and to building a sustainable future. Make no mistake this is an opportunity; and it’s a human disruption that is required.
To bring the real you to your choice of work and hustle is the ultimate gift, it is the need of our time and, I know, one of the essential struggles of humanity in the wake of everything that’s happened. All this change, the disrupted trajectories, the generational legacies and the unimaginable tragedies that lay before us now: they hurt the people, people. And they’re hurting you.
That’s why it’s time for a serious paradigm shift, at a hurtling pace and the centre of it all is a self-aware, transparent leader who is willing to accept this reality; to go beyond the beyond and be ready to change tack at every moment – even when you think the deal is done.
No more head in the sand ignorance of elephants in the room. This sets you back days, months, years, even a lifetime and the fact is we just don’t have that time. I know you know this; the actual struggle isn’t the time spent at the bottom of a change curve, or programming artefacts of change. It’s the (still) inevitable pull back to the status quo that pervades our business world even today.
Look, I get it. Information is everywhere and it is overload. As a leader you are beholden to the mantras of delivering sustainable financial value for your organisation; potentially of sheer survival; possibly of getting an idea off the ground; the near universal sense of uncertainty. But as an innately self-aware, life experienced human you are also not immune to the positive benefits of more information. You would like to ‘be the change you want to see in the world’; to do what’s right and serves your values well. Whilst you are not too badly off, you are worried for future generations, your children, your loved ones.
What I want to say to you is that there is something better than this; something that can develop your leadership and cultivate self-awareness (aka the whole you and nothing but the you), to bring your absolute game face to the table every single day. Even to live a more fulfilled life. And that is a think different, talk different mindset that will allow your leadership to shine; one that celebrates imperfection, pushes hard into a new paradigm and attains total clarity. Clarity that accepts the reality of today’s changing world and recognises you as the disruptor of disruption: a result that gives you the seeing eyes to deliver the intricacies of your current state to get to the future state successfully.
This new leader is one that thinks and functions like an athlete; sharp, crisp and flexible to get the performance result. But it’s more than this. This development is fully into you and who you are. To light up the real you as part of your leadership, day in and day out. Fully self-aware and cognisant of staying right in that zone; able to push limits, deal creativity with scenarios and make who you really are the trump card with the X-factor. This is the style of leader we need and I know it’s totally relatable as you read these words.
Our path to happiness is taking shape in new, exciting and bold ways (it really is); over and above outdated, traditional, smoke and mirrors, power orientated structures. It’s a physical, emotional, spiritual, mental, cognitive curveball that impacts work and organisations. That ‘war for talent’ has a whole new dimension; it’s not just people liking, coming and going, but needing, seeking and asking. Questions, truth, honesty, reality, authenticity, options, opportunities.
To expand your thinking, it’s important to accept the reality that cultivating a mindset of disruption will enlighten and enable a better you. This is what will bring creativity to your business; the foundation for innovation. It will make the discussions and decisions easier and pave the way for new opportunities. And it will make you see how pivotal the role of transparency is in this story unfolding.
These are the vibes humans and they relate to leadership. Your leadership.
From one leader to another, I know you want this but you are living in a state of perpetual exhaustion; already applying considerable lateral thinking, problem solving and creativity just to work through the immediate complexities and, inevitably, the grind of breaking down barriers and getting stuff done to serve the purpose of today’s agenda. One laden with expectations of a lifestyle and existing paradigm that is fading and creating a risk to the sustainability of your business.
The need to reframe your current mindset and position your leadership as the source of competitive advantage is a mandate that cannot be under-estimated or ignored. Self-aware, raw, honest; free from filters, blocks and outdated thinking.
Coz blink and you’ll miss it. It’s already happened; the future is here.