This card sits front and center on my desk. Though I read it daily, the words caught my attention today just as they did when I saw it for the first time a few years ago.
The world needs more YOU in it.
Never before has there been another person identical to you. Even though some have similar personalities, life experiences, geographical location, etc., no one has lived the exact life you have. You're it. You're the only YOU there is and ever will be...and that makes your perspective invaluable.
Unlocking the power of people is at the heart of every project we take on at (Re) Engage Consulting. In fact, the more accurate statement is expanding human capacity by helping people recognize and utilize their uniqueness to make meaningful contributions is the work we can't help ourselves from doing.
The foundational assumption is this:
When you are living as someone else, the world misses out.
In a previous post, I mentioned the importance of leading in your own way, in ways that are truest to you. Kouzes & Posner put it perfectly in The Leadership Challenge,
“You cannot lead out of someone else’s experience. You can lead only out of your own.
Unless it’s your style and your words, it’s not you–it’s just an act. People don’t follow your position
or your technique, they follow YOU … you have a responsibility to your constituents to express yourself
in an authentic manner, in a way they would immediately recognize as yours .”
So, who are you then?
I’m a Systems Consultant who makes quilts. I’m a human capacity generator who takes classes on wine making at a local community college for fun. I’m an Executive Coach who knows that middle managers are just as valuable as executives, and I make sourdough bread from a 80 year old starter. I offer compassion as a tangible way to resolve conflict and I get tremendous joy from singing my heart out in the car on road trips.
I am all of these things, and much more. It’s the same for you, by the way.
Each part of our lives informs the other, all originating from the curiosity than can only arise from our own particular combination of genes, life experiences and personality at this point in history.
So please, be YOU. The world - and your workplace, colleagues, family, community, industry, etc. - needs it.
- What is missed when you try to lead like someone else?
- What would your colleagues and friends say is classic you? Are those descriptors present in your leadership? If they’re not, how can you add them today?