I recently observed two different situations that illustrate what I call the “reluctant leader phenomenon.” Although the two individuals are clearly natural leaders, they seem ambivalent about being leaders. They definitely have a number of leadership qualities, and they have followers. Yet they seem reluctant to fully embrace their leadership roles.
Food for Thought ~
As a result, they are only partially effective as leaders, and this may be a Catch 22 situation. Their hesitance to fully commit results in less than optimal outcomes which may in turn reinforce their ambivalence about leadership. To be sure, being a leader can be a daunting prospect and does require a multi-faceted set of skills. Yet someone who has willing followers (people who look to him/her for leadership) clearly has some strong leadership qualities. Here’s my hypothesis, with the caveat that of course this doesn’t cover all the possible factors. These natural leaders may have: 1.) a limiting belief about themselves or about leadership, 2.) a fear of some aspect of leadership, 3.) an unresolved values conflict, or 4.) some combination of the above. These factors then inhibit them from fully accepting (and enjoying) their gifts as natural leaders.
Question for the day ~
Do you consider yourself a reluctant leader? If so, what thoughts and insights might you have on this subject?
I look forward to hearing from “reluctant leaders” and the people who work with them.