Everyone has their own style. How we choose to dress is a conscious decision, whether we go for fitting or oversized, for the bright patterns or the muted tones. Our fashion choices are exactly that – ours.
And work is no different.
. and it’s important that we understand this.
Simply put, if we are comfortable, we are more likely to be happy and, in business, more successful.
So, it is important to put on your own “big hoodie or fluffy socks” when it comes to your approach to work. Whatever it is that makes you feel ok in what you are doing.
This might not be immediately obvious, and you may have to shop around try some stuff on before you find the perfect fit. But once you do it will feel like kicking off your shoes after a long day, things will be so much simpler.
Just like the Highstreet, there are so many options when it comes to work and leadership styles so you may have to experiment. You may have to have your metaphorical goth or punk phase until you finally get the style right for you.
But that is okay, no one will get it exactly right the first time, and it is highly likely it will evolve and mould to your personality over time. Being a leader is not natural to most people and it might take a few attempts to get the perfect fit, in terms of your style.
Once people have settled on a style, very often they will gravitate towards the same brands again and again. But in doing this you can get bored of your look after a while, suddenly the boots will not work with the outfit, or the jeans will start to look tired.
If this happens it may be worth exploring what other retailers have to offer, and you may unlock a whole new fashion avenue.
The same can happen with your work and that of your team. If you are all mirroring each other and working in very similar ways within your business, your output and efficiency can begin to suffer.
Variation is a big positive in a team. You will often be tempted to surround yourself with similar individuals when hiring but this is not always as great as it may seem. People with different styles can bring a better working dynamic, they can be willing to wear the boots that you no longer like, opening you up to go out and get some trainers that better suit your outfit.
What is key is that you must be true to yourself.
I think we have all been there when we were at school, some may be longer ago than others (yes, me obviously!), when the popular kid came in with brand new trainers and you felt like you just had to have them. Soon, everyone is coming in wearing them.
You just have to have them and eventually, you convince your parents to get them for you. Finally, you have the look, you fit in with the popular crowd. But as you walk around in them you realize they are not actually that comfortable, and you do not really feel like the fit is quite right.
Ultimately, it is not about the trainers that everyone else has, it is about what you feel good in. You have to be authentic. Thinking you need to fit in and trying to be something else very rarely leads to success if it is not what feels comfortable to you.
Yes, the popular kid may have the loudest fashion, the flashiest clothes, but just because that is what they are doing does not mean you should feel the pressure to do the same. Their fashion may not suit you, and if the look is not right, it makes no sense to keep trying it.
Business is no different. You must do your own thing, tailor your techniques to your own ways of working and that of your team. Copying another leader can be a place to start – but pick something that feels more like your own personality.
Too often in business, I see a successful technician flounder as a new leader. And it is because of this syndrome. They put on the metaphorical clothes, of someone they THINK they should be as a leader, and it doesn’t work.
If it is not true to you, it is not something you should do.
If you need some help finding your new clothes as a first-time leader – email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can grab a 15-minute virtual coffee to talk it through.