5 July 2018

Lawrence Jones MBE taking time out in Verbier. Social media. Sun and shadowsAs a business leader, what shadow do you cast?

It’s an odd question, isn’t it? But when you really think about it, it makes perfect sense.

Are you a large character, who blocks the limelight, who leads through fear and intimidation? Or are you a leader who shines a light on others within your team, who brings energy and excitement to the people around you?

The shadow you cast – the lasting impact – has extraordinary power to change the mood and behaviour of those in your business. I suppose the question really should be, are you having a positive impact on those around you?

Inevitably, leaders experience times of real pressure when things mount and you have too many plates spinning. It is the sign of a true leader when this pressure isn’t passed onto their team, instead the team is motivated to hit the goals set.

Shadow of doubt

Ultimately, you’re far more likely to reach that end goal if you motivate your team and build their energy rather than increase pressure and fear. Much like a swan looks graceful whilst paddling furiously beneath the surface, leaders who are calm, courteous and encouraging are more than likely feeling the pressure and paddling behind closed doors! Yet it is these leaders who reap the greatest rewards. Look at the likes of Sir Richard Branson; he’s well known for his quirky personality and kindness to those around him.

Unfortunately, there is a culture of leaders who still follow the example set by the likes of the TV programme The Apprentice – where the boardroom is a place to be nervous or even afraid. It’s an extraordinarily bad example to set – you never get the best of someone when you humiliate and embarrass them in front of their peers.

The most rewarding thing you can do is encourage people to come out of their shell and reach their potential.

So the next time you’re feeling stressed, under pressure or in a bad mood, stop! Take a moment to think about your team and those around you. Are you casting a shadow, or are you shining a light?


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