Find your natural leadership

by Therese Johansson

"Therese has a highly developed natural leadership..."

That sounded good, I thought when I read the statement from a boss I once had. I didn't really understand what he meant by that, but every time the comment popped into my head I felt satisfaction.

I like to geek out on the subject of leadership and if you're going to geek out, it's good to have a geek best friend. My bestie made a statement a while ago;
- I don't want to be normal, I strive to be natural. What a hit comment, I thought.

Values-based leadership

We in the NLC have for several years divided about the norm regarding values-based leadership.

The word norms is described on Wikipedia as implied rules or expectations of behavior that apply in social communities. That is, different norms in different social contexts. I usually bring people to life by provoking them to start thinking for themselves. I believe it is dangerous to just follow norms without feeling, with your gut feeling, what is right and wrong. Therefore, I want to make people think.

I recently gave a lecture on the subject and focused on what is needed to make a corporate culture live in practice and not just in theory.

1) We first need to solidify the framework that is based on the business idea.

2) Next, we need to have a defined and documented culture and value base.

3) When we have this in place, the company should create conditions for personal development for its leaders, this in order to create self-awareness in themselves and through this develop their employees.

4) Finally, the culture and core values need to be lived up to by the company's leaders having the courage to take responsibility for exercising natural leadership, that is, we act as we say and show the way through action.

Personal development - the path to natural leadership

For me, the normality is in learned programming in our brains, which, however, is not a conclusion on how to live life. Each brain has its learnings that come from the social environments it has lived in throughout life, which creates norms for each individual person. When we work with culture work in companies, we work with the value base, behaviors and attitudes and train ourselves to commonality.

What we need to understand is that it is a journey that never ends because our organizations are an organism in motion. It starts and ends with people in our companies, all the time. Therefore, we should be in continuous training to preserve stability in our organizations.

When I train leaders in individual leadership, I start by letting them create the right conditions themselves and take responsibility for having balanced and well-being brains. Next, we train to learn to discipline the brain, that is, control what comes out of the mouth. When mischievous minds can be controlled, it's time to go to yourself. By that I mean getting to know and listen to your gut feeling in order to gain the courage to act on your gut feeling.

Dare to choose to act on your gut feeling

To tie the knot, it took me 13 years to understand what my boss meant by "Therese has natural leadership". What he meant was that I had a strong gut feeling that I acted on. It sounds simple in theory but is a challenge to achieve in practice. I speak from my own experience.

I lost the good gut feeling I had previously acted on which resulted in me getting lost in life. It took many years before I found my way back and started acting on it again, a useful but oh so hard lesson. My advice is to dare, choose to live by and act on your gut feeling.