As part of a leadership academy program, a colleague and I visited senior leaders at two other institutions. We asked them fairly similar questions about their styles, career path, how they allocated their time, and advice should we aspire to a similar role. We received surprisingly different answers.
We were fascinated as we compared how each of these men had carved out a leadership style that fit with their personalities and institutions. It was quite compelling to see actual examples of success who arrived at that destination through very different methods.
One piece of advice that they did have in common was to “be yourself.” Without knowing it, their conversations yesterday reinforced how true that is. There is no mold for a leader, and not one style of leadership will fit during different stages of the institution’s evolution.
Don’t try to “lead like the other guy” or to act like how you imagine someone else in that role would perform. Bring your truest self to the top position as a role model for authenticity throughout your culture.