From executive to leadership personality

Guest contribution by | 27.07.2023

The secret of a inspiring and successful leadership personality

Women are finally becoming more and more visible in leadership positions! On the one hand, we owe this to the present time and the “pressure on companies” to inspire more women for leadership and to create the corresponding parameters. On the other hand, women are increasingly standing up for who they are, their leadership qualities, strengths and values, their skills and their self-worth. Soft skills are finally accepted and are no longer smiled at wholesale.

In my coaching sessions for women in leadership, I observe that they are becoming more and more courageous and are finally speaking publicly about what is bothering them, what problems they face in leadership, how they face their challenges, what they want and what they definitely don’t want any more. They are breaking out of the often quoted knight’s armour and showing themselves vulnerable. Because they have responsibility – as role models for other women, they are visible in their entire being.

Self-leadership is now finally high on the agenda and this helps enormously to rediscover one’s own joy in leadership and to live it out individually – an important foundation of every leader, if not THE most important. This is especially essential for women who work in companies where the top management is still made up of men.

So it is time that we break away once and for all from the traditional notion of the leader and look more closely at the concept of leadership personality.

In this article, I would like to take you on a thought journey from executive to leadership personality to leading as a role model. Perhaps you will henceforth recognise and use your unique qualities to become an inspiring leader, and in turn inspire others with them?

Leadership is more than a position or a function.
Leadership is a matter of attitude, a philosophy of life.

But before we approach the question of how you can develop from an executive to a leadership personality, we need to clarify what an executive and what a leadership personality is and how they differ.

Let’s think outside the box together, break new ground and change the “leadership system”.

What distinguishes an executive from a leadership personality?

The difference between an executive and a leadership personality lies above all in one’s own understanding of one’s role, in the leader’s approach to the topic of leadership and in the exercise of leadership. We could also say: It’s all about mindset, self-perception and perception of others, communication, dealing with difficult employees, conflict-laden issues and, above all, it is the confrontation with one’s own “inner world”. Also called self-leadership, self-awareness, self-care – THE fundamental pillars of a successful and fulfilled woman in leadership. Ergo: a leadership personality.

An executive is a person who, due to their position, function, authority and / or hierarchy in an organisation, has the responsibility for leading and controlling a team or a department. An executive is usually appointed on the basis of his or her technical knowledge, experience or ability to perform tasks. Executives lead by virtue of authority, instructions, decisions, control. They have quasi-legitimacy. Their focus is often on achieving organisational goals, managing resources and ensuring efficiency.

A leader, on the other hand, refers to a person who is perceived by others as a leader because of his or her charismatic, inspiring and influential personality. A leader has natural qualities that enable him or her to motivate, influence and lead others, regardless of his or her formal position in a hierarchy. The leader often demonstrates strong communication skills, empathy, sensitivity and the ability to communicate a common purpose and get people to fulfil their potential.

The key difference is that an executive uses his or her legitimate authority and position to lead and direct employees, while a leader uses his or her personal qualities and skills to get others to follow him or her, regardless of their formal position of power.

Does this mean that managers are not leaders and vice versa?

Not at all!

There is a leader in every executive!
And in every leader there is an executive.

Both are needed!
Executive and leadership personality are interdependent.

Leading with personality alone is not enough, because then it could become difficult to deal critically with conflicts and to make decisions.

But the higher the proportion of a leadership personality in an executive, the easier it is to lead and the more pleasure both the leader and the led have.

How can executives develop their leadership personality in order to lead more and more with personality as well?

I take you behind the scenes of my coaching methods and share five essential self-leadership tools with you. All women go through these long-tested methods in my coaching sessions:

1. The power of authenticity

One of the most powerful tools on the path to leadership is your authenticity. Let’s be honest, you don’t have to try to be someone else to lead successfully. Be yourself and bring your unique qualities and perspectives to the table. People want to be led by someone who is genuine and who embodies their values and beliefs. Yes, this takes courage to break away from the expectations of others and the theme of “wanting to belong”. But you can only find this courage within yourself.

2. Emotional intelligence and empathy

A leader is characterised by their ability to empathise, understand and connect with others – without ego. Invest time and energy in developing your emotional intelligence by being aware of your own emotions and respecting the feelings of others. You don’t have to agree with others, but you should respect each person and their way of being. Through empathy you build trust and create a supportive environment in which people can flourish.

3. Courage and risk taking

To be a leader, you must be willing to cross boundaries and take risks. Be courageous and dare to make unconventional decisions. Don’t just focus on managing processes, but set new standards and bring in innovative ideas. Grow beyond yourself and inspire others to do the same. However, this only works if you are really well connected with yourself. Only with inner stability can you be truly courageous.

4. Communication and inspiration

As a leader, it is important to have a clear vision and to communicate it convincingly. Use inspirational messages and stories to motivate others and arouse their passion. Be a role model and show by your actions that you believe in what you preach.

5. Continuous development and learning

The journey to becoming a leader never stops. Invest in your personal and professional development, expand your knowledge and stay curious. Seek mentors, exchange ideas with other leaders and make sure you stay up to date with new trends and developments.

Conclusion

As a woman in a leadership position, you have the potential to be not only an executive, but an inspirational leader. Use the power of authenticity and your emotional intelligence and empathy. Be bold, communicate and inspire. Continuously invest in your development. And: DARE to BE YOURSELF!

 

Notes:

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Janine Tychsen has published a very readable German-language book: Frauen, geht in Führung! 90 Tage Führungsmuskeltraining.

Frauen, geht in Führung

Janine Tychsen has published more articles in the t2informatik Blog:

t2informatik Blog: Inner Work – The confrontation with oneself

Inner Work – The confrontation with oneself

t2informatik Blog: Fits into every diary: self-care

Fits into every diary: self-care

Janine Tychsen

Janine Tychsen

Janine Tychsen has been training and coaching women in leadership positions in administration, business and science organisations for many years.

Her mission: to inspire women for leadership and encourage them to lead self-determined, creatively and with inner strength.

Her motto: Women, take the lead! From leadership to leadership personality to leading as a role model.

Ms Tychsen works with women on their leadership and communication skills, their attitude to leadership, their inner attitude and on the demands and challenges placed on women in leadership (such as dealing with employees, conflict and crisis management, organising work and time, difficult conversations and decisions, dealing with refusals to work, etc.).