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Posted by on Mar 4, 2011

Who are You?

Who are you?

Are you an individual, who has made choices around career, relationships and where to live?

Or are you your job, relationships and location?

It sounds like a silly or trick question, but let me share with you a line I heard delivering a leadership development program at one government agency.

We had shown a video that highlighted leaders’ ability to evoke possibility and outstanding performance from those they are leading. Much of the video stressed the emotional connections and deeper communication with people that helps unlock possibility.

I suppose the person who delivered the line I am about to share had not really thought about that way of leading, or felt unable to lead in that way. (Hey, that’s the work.) In any case, here is what he said.

“But we’re a bunch of lawyers! We’re not like that!”

I believe what he meant was that in his role, these kinds of leadership behaviors were not mainstream, or conventional. Never mind that they work better. It was just hard to see the change, given the context, especially culturally, in which he worked.

I submit this is really over-identifying with a role, career or job.

What works for you? What individuality do you bring to where you work?

Are you your job? Or are you you?

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