THE STRETCH ZONE – Confidence & Personality

A really powerful assumption that undermines and limits our potential in the STRETCH ZONE is the idea that confidence is limited to the lucky few by virtue of their personality.

Stereotyping personality as extroversion vs. introversion, task-focus vs. people-focus, structured vs. unstructured, reflection vs. action, etc. – under pressure we so often associate confidence with preferences other than our own.

Inherent in this is the assumption that confidence = personality.  The reality is that confidence is in no way limited by personality, it only looks and sounds different. And difference does not mean absence.

When we associate confidence with personality we so often end up trying to be like someone else in the deluded hope that we’ll come across as confident – and it seldom makes much of an impression. The best thing we can do is to be ourselves – and our confidence will be there with authentic congruence.

Question: Given your personality, styles and preferences, what does authentic and congruent confidence look and sound like for you?


A Question of Leadership

Over the years I’ve heard a truckload of definitions of leadership – be it an academic view or a view won through real experience there are many good and many not-so-good definitions out there.

Some years ago I heard leadership defined quite uniquely. Rather than another statement, leadership was defined as a question: ‘what kind of a leader do I need to be right now?’.

A statement attempts to predict what will work tomorrow based on what worked yesterday. A question is about what is actually happening right now and being present to respond as it is.

So long as our conditioned attention is confined to what has worked in the past, we are unlikely to notice what is needed in the present – when it actually matters. Great leadership is of-the-moment and has little or nothing to do with the past.

Question: What kind of a leader do I need to be right now, in this situation, with these people, with this problem?