Beauty of Reclaiming Unique Personality in Leadership

Posted By:
Rumeysa Gunduz Can
July 25, 2023

Hello from WaveMakers team🌊

Today we want to share a blog by one of our WaveMakers Leadership program participants Rumeysa Gunduz Can✨

“When I came across the Wavemakers Leadership Program, I was brooding over my superior’s words, ‘You are not assertive…Take other colleagues and me (giving the name of two) as an example to learn how to be assertive.’ I am unsure if I got sad or angry hearing those words. Nonetheless, these words made me question whether being assertive was something I should consider as a must-to-have, something I should work on more to develop, something I should copy from others around me…I was questioning whether I was not sufficient if I had a lack of it…

Many of us can relate to this kind of questioning of ourselves and our personality, especially if we are or want to go for leadership roles. These questions, for sure, are inevitable given the long-lasting pervasive illusion of leadership, which describes leaders as assertive, dominant and extraverted. Wavemakers Leadership Program tackles this illusion, cushioning it and redefining leadership, starting with a profound question of ‘Who am I truly?’ and focusing on understanding and appreciating the unique personality of each of us that makes us ‘just us’, and admiring the beauty of Authentic Leadership.

Authentic Leadership is a term coined by Bill George in 2003 in his book Authentic Leadership: Rediscovering the Secrets to Creating Lasting Value. It redefines leadership by focusing on the unique personality instead of the ‘right’ or ‘ideal’ leadership personality, fitting all to the same extent. This uniqueness contributes to the diversity within the leadership that encompasses a wide range of natural skills and abilities compatible with the current situation’s needs, including the organization and who we lead.

Authentic leaders are the ones who lead based on their individual talent, values and unique strengths. They are the ones with self-awareness and self-reflection. They embrace not only their strengths but also their weaknesses as a holistic individual. They understand and appreciate their values and principles while creating the purpose and act based on empathy with a full heart towards themselves and the others they lead.

The first step into authentic leadership is understanding ourselves to unlock genuine potential. Understanding and appreciating the true personality can help to be more confident in finding what fits the best and delivering the right leadership at the right time. The relationship between personality and leadership is indeed complex, and personality is not the only determining force of how we lead. Nonetheless, it is still a powerful force underlying how we lead, influence, communicate, and even collaborate and negotiate in the business. Therefore, to be an effective leader who is truly authentic to themselves requires the awareness and appreciation of personality, along with communication, management of relationships and decision making.

It is never an easy journey to be open and true to ourselves by embracing all our weaknesses and strengths and appreciating our own personality if it is not one of the defined leadership ones. I remember the day I decided to join the Wavemakers Leadership Program while still hearing the voice of my superior telling me that I was not assertive enough. Should I indeed need to be assertive? I am now silencing his voice with self-confidence and answering, ‘No, I do not think so’!!!

🌈 Authentic Leadership celebrates the diversity of skills and abilities we bring to the table. It’s not about conforming to an ideal, but rather, embracing our individual strengths and values.