I just gave a huge ‘like’ to a marketing expert on LinkedIn.

She encouraged me not to worry about when and how to post – but to show up as best as I can, when I can.

The flipping algorithm could just shove off.

a cat sticking it's tongue out representing it not following the Leadership algorithm rules

Hurrah for that!

This is true for non-profit CEOs and senior leaders too.

Do you worry that there are ‘rules’ about what you should and shouldn’t do as a leader? That if you break them, you won’t be doing the ‘right’ thing and so not getting the results you want?

I know the leaders I coach certainly do.

They tell me about unwritten rules they’ve given themselves that they don’t quite match up to. Often without even realising they have them.

Which rules hold the most sway for you?

  • You should be more like the last CEO who everyone loved?
  • Don’t show lots of emotion, people won’t trust you?
  • Never own up to a mistake?
  • you have to know pretty much everything?
  • You have to be ‘nice’ because you work in the charity world?
  • you should never relax and have a laugh with your team?

I really get all this. It’s tough being a leader and if there are some rules to follow, well, doesn’t that make life easier?

Rules crossed out representing not following the Leadership algorithm rules

But – the result is that if you’re squeezing yourself in to a set of so-called leadership rules, you’re not showing up as the real you. You’re not giving your team and mission the benefit of being led by the authentic you with all your strengths and brilliance.

(And it’s hugely stressful too to be constantly feeling that you’re not quite reaching the perfect leader heights.)

Is that what you want?

I encourage my coaching clients to throw those rules right out the window and check in with what’s true for them.

Yes, the last CEO was great. But you have different skills and talents which are hugely valuable.

Yes, you don’t want to be ‘nasty’ but it doesn’t mean you can’t act with rigour and firmness when needed.

Yes, being in endless floods of tears is probably not a great idea, but showing your team how you’re feeling models good behaviour around mental health and wellbeing.

Yes, regularly making huge mistakes and apologising left, right and centre is not okay. But acknowledging when you didn’t get something right builds, not breaks, trust.

Yes, you don’t want to be floundering out of your depth when expertise is called for, but being open and honest about your knowledge gaps gives you credibility.

Yes, you don’t want to be kidding around all day, but moments of levity and fun with your colleagues creates an atmosphere of joy and playfulness which boosts creativity.

Friendly meeting after not following the Leadership algorithm

What next?

If you’re ready to shake off all the ‘oughts’ and ‘shoulds’ and show up as the brilliant leader that you really are, email me at katie@katieduckworth.com

We’ll set up a chat to talk about how my one-to-one Gold Coaching could help you.