Just a few more minutes and she will be gone: Angela Merkel. Who would have thought that a smart girl from a simple family in the GDR would become Chancellor of Germany? That by staying very close to herself she would last so long? To put it in a nutshell: This is authentic leadership. Actually, I wanted to write something about female leadership. But what nonsense. It is not about whether she is a woman or a man. It is about whether she is doing the right things for the country, whether she is able to bind people to her and gather the right people around her. The latter makes or breaks you. And apparently she is doing that well. Because when it comes to exploiting the fact that she is a woman in this job (which is still special these days), Angela Merkel will undoubtedly have managed to convince the PR people, stylists and you name it, that her work suit is just black trousers with a colourful half-length jacket. And that her hair should be well-groomed, but not overly coiffed. That she is not going to spend too much time on this because there are more important things. The glamour that comes with this job is foreign to her and that is just as fine as female leaders exploiting their femininity. If something suits you and helps you achieve your goals: Go!
Do you do what you say? Words are important, look around you: it is the words that take you or leave you. In political campaigns they are crucial. Obama won the elections with ‘Yes, we can’. But then it starts: are we going to do it? Can you live up to your words? In politics, especially in our coalition landscape, that is sometimes quite difficult. However, in ordinary and certainly in working life, you must always strive to give meaning to your words. Otherwise, you will lose credibility as a leader of your organisation and people will become disappointed. Keeping to what you say or promise is the most difficult thing in organisations, not least because circumstances can change rapidly these days. Therefore, doing what you say is different from being stubborn. Therefore, after the ‘words’, it is good to share the plan of ‘doing’ and come up with examples that show that you do what you say. Take the simple things that are visible, such as handing in your input for the meeting in advance. So saying and doing. And that is often a problem.
Copyright (c) 2021-2023 – Elsemieke Havenga