Do you look funny on a horse? It's a leadership thing.
Self-reliant leaders recognise they are a complete and self-directed person and have the power and responsibility to choose between options and make decisions.
Self-reliance is an important competence for a leader to have and for leadership, an important part of self-reliance is being comfortable inside with being a leader, accepting the responsibility of leadership.
If you're not comfortable with the idea of being a leader then that will show on the outside as incongruence; you will look funny on that horse and struggle to lead the charge. I remember when I first became an MD everyone suddenly started treating me differently; overnight things changed. I felt uneasy in my new role and although I have no evidence that people doubted my capability, inside I was busily being negative to myself. Thankfully it didn't take me long to adjust; however I had to step up to the mark, accept the new role and responsibilities it entailed and live the part.
So what if you feel uncomfortable in your role as a leader, what can you do? Start by looking at others you admire, who you think do exude that self-belief of being a leader. Be aware though, that when we compare ourselves to others, one of the common problems is that we do it in a negative way. We see how the other person is better than us and take that as a negative blow to our self-esteem; "I'll never be as good as them!" However you can use the comparison in a positive way. Take a leader you admire and who you think does "look good on a horse" and model them. What is it that makes them that way? What do they do in terms of behaviour, the way they talk, the way they approach difficult situations? Then model them, copy them, take the bits that will work for you and practise doing those things yourself. In the words of Mahatma Ghandi, "Be the change you want to see".
In time you'll not only look good on that horse, you'll feel inside that you're able to lead the charge.
Mike Jones specialises in developing Emotional Intelligence. If you would like help to improve the onboarding of new executives through coaching call him now on +44 (0)1908 509088 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.