Caroline Newns Consulting

The Power of Personality

Written by: Caroline Newns

Last month, I attended an event to hear a panel of experienced business leaders discussing a range of issues associated with ‘Strategy’ and ‘Managing Change’. 

I expected that each of the panelists would be informed and self-assured. Such was the case. Questions came from an invited audience and detailed, illustrated answers were given in response.

Everyone agreed that it was a useful evening.

For me, it was also entirely uninspiring.

What could have been a vigorous and engaging event, a testament to the power of strategy and change, failed to materialise.

I knew one of the panelists well. I was aware that they had many examples of directing and implementing change management interventions that had both succeeded and faltered in spectacular fashion.

Sharing these stories with the attendant energy, despair and humour would have amused and, at the same time, guided the audience.

Furthermore, this individual had experienced a range of emotions during those large-scale business transformations.  Their focus, resilience and sanity had certainly been tested.

I believe that revealing our more ‘human’ side is a must when it comes to authentic leadership. Any opportunity to reveal the uniqueness of our personality is generally appreciated by an audience and can add colour and weight to one’s argument.

Consider the following:

  • What would be the reaction if your passion and commitment for the company vision was communicated in a dull or distracted way?
  • What would be the reaction if you rarely acknowledged colleague achievements or did so with apparent indifference or complacency?
  • What would be the effect on your leadership impact if you looked consistently bored and distracted?

When I encourage Executives to allow their personality to flourish in a business environment, many are concerned that this will compromise their authority.

In reality, the opposite is true. We build relationships more effectively; we demonstrate honesty and conviction and we bring the joy of diversity into our workplaces. Whether it’s the ‘Strictly’ side of politician Ed Balls or the ever-optimistic drive of Richard Branson, reflect on individuals who allow their personalities to shine through – then encourage yours to do so too.