One of the most effective means of self-sabotage I come up against when developing leadership is the conversation that something is just “not my style of leadership”.
Because leadership is about expanding your existing range, and because your existing range is where you are comfortable, you have a natural pull towards defending, and remaining in, the world you already know. That world includes all of the ways of being, and the actions to take, that you are already comfortable with.
If you’re comfortable being overly generous, but have a story that it is morally wrong and never acceptable to act in a way that might occur selfishly, then “your style of leadership” allows for your generosity as a leader, but not your selfishness.
Your “style of leadership” is really just what you’ve grown comfortable with.
This fundamentally misses the point of leadership. Leadership is developing your ability to access and embody all ways of being, and all actions. The leader who can be and do whatever is called for to create the committed result, is the leader that has the greatest impact.
“Not my style of leadership” provides someone a get out of jail free card. By carving off an area called “your style of leadership”, you don’t have to lean into what’s uncomfortable. It’s just not your style, plain and simple.
What you can’t see, from the safety of having a “style of leadership”, is that this eliminates your capacity as a leader. As soon as you carve out an area of leadership as “your style”, you’ve created a sacred cow. A space that cannot be trodden upon — that is untouchable.
Maybe you have things to learn and ways to grow, but one thing is clear to you — you know what your style of leadership is, and that is not something you’re willing to let go of.
“Not my style” acts as a growth-terminating statement. Rather than taking on the action that is uncomfortable for you, and would generate transformation, you just declare it’s not your style and there’s nothing more to be said.
Your leadership is often developed at the point right beyond your resistance. Consider that “your style of leadership” is not something to be defended, but rather, the boundary of your comfort zone and the point at which your resistance will attempt to hold you.
And then play beyond that.