I love Halloween, and it appears many of the rest of us do as well. I read an article that said Halloween has become the second most profitable holiday for retailers now that adults indulge in elaborate costumes and house decorating.
I think my favorite part about Halloween is that we get to be someone we’re not. I went to a party this past weekend dressed up as a hippie from the 60s. I know, not really much of a stretch for me, as I’ve always been sort of an anti-establishment kind of guy. Unfortunately for me, coming of age during the Reagan years of the 80s didn’t really require any sort of “rebel with a cause .”
You’re probably wondering how any of this relates to you. Well, as I’ve often said, the biggest fear that most leaders in any organization have is that someone will actually figure out that maybe they aren’t the person everyone thinks they are. Or, that some genius will find out that they’re not perfect and don’t have all the answers.
Yes my friends, for most leaders every day is a lot like Halloween! And you know what? There’s nothing wrong with that.
As a coach, some of the most valuable work I do is help people identify who they actually are as a leader. You can do this as well. What are your core values? What is your personal brand as a leader? Are you living up to that brand or are you some watered down generic version of another brand that you feel you’re supposed to be? If so, how’s that working for you? My guess is not very well, and you may find it helpful to change into a new costume.
There are days as leaders when we need to put on our Halloween costumes and be someone else. Here are a few that come to mind: Hard ass, pusher, driver, salesperson, negotiator, leader, follower, decision maker, innovator, creative type, artist, realist, compassionate one, empathetic one, rock-n-roll rebel (my personal favorite) and, of course, [add your personal favorite here].
Once you clearly identify your brand, you can stretch a bit out of your comfort zone and lead in ways that are a bit different from your normal “costumes” yet are still consistent with the type of leader and person you are or plan to become.
As a leader, you get to change and adapt your style or approach based on the various people and situations that come your way. Halloween is a good time to remind us all that it’s okay to be someone or something else, as long as you keep hold of the person you actually are in the process.
Being true to yourself and to your personal brand as a leader will make your success in the long run that much sweeter.
Thoughts for the week:
Life isn’t about finding yourself, it’s about creating yourself. -George Bernard Shaw
We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be. –Kurt Vonnegut
You can’t change what’s going on around you until you change what’s going on inside you. –unknown
To change the world takes time, to change yourself takes courage. – R.S. Lowell
Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you’ll understand what little chance you have of changing others. – Jacob Braude
If you are still looking for that one person who will change your life, take look in the mirror. -Unknown
If human beings had genuine courage, they’d wear their costumes every day of the year, not just on Halloween. –Douglas Coupland
Looking forward to our next conversation