I might sound like a broken record, but time and time again when I meet someone new or perhaps an old colleague who has reconnected, I see them in ways that they cannot see themselves. This is what I call Mirrorless Leadership; when they think they know their value, but can’t really see their true self.

It’s like being the picture of someone else’s narrative. They sound like they’re a leader and their doing leader-like things, but it sounds like an empty recording of what others are saying about themselves. It contains nothing unique and can quickly fade until people don’t really know you.

I will also say that if you’ve been fortunate to have a 360 review of your performance or received actionable feedback, sure you can change your mindset and behaviors, but it’s only a partial mirror. The problem with this is people are measuring you against their expectations for which the bar may be too high or it’s the wrong bar.

Infrequently do people listen to you and find the nuggets of value that you bring to people and your environment. When we can see our unique gifts, it opens up our eyes to greater possibilities and builds confidence in yourself. If we don’t have a mirror, we accept the judgement of others who are not seeing us, but simply telling us what they expect.

So how do we solve this?

Find a trusted partner and do the following:

  • Start sharing with them what gets you excited; tell a few stories.
  • What are the the things that you’re most proud of?
  • How have you helped people either at work, in your family or community?
  • Where have you made an impact and people have thanked you?
  • What environments stifle your creativity?
  • What have you done differently that has changed the lives of others?
  • What frustrates you about your current situation and what would you like to do to change it?

That trusted partner becomes your mirror and if they have the gift of deep listening and can reframe what it is that makes you unique, you start to see yourself differently and regain your confidence to move in the direction you decide.

Sure, I’m offering you a bit of coaching right now and I hope you can go away and do this yourself or find a partner who can work with you. But if you don’t have a support system, let me be your mirror and help see yourself for who you really are.

Until we meet, I wish you well and much success!-Deb

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