Leaders must be able to function as temporary “containers” of the hopes and anxieties of followers. This enables followers to develop and function autonomously. In order to serve this temporary containment function for others, executives must cultivate an increasing sensitivity to their own thoughts and feelings. One needs to create some excess capacity or tolerance for anxiety, ambiguity, and uncertainty in order to lead other people.
I consult with individual executives and managers over a period of six to twelve months to increase their self-awareness in the service of developing their teams, subordinates and organizations. This work often involves observation of executives working with their teams and subsequent, confidential debriefing sessions to identify feelings, thoughts, and problem areas. This work is not an esoteric exercise but a practical approach to the real-time issues confronted by individuals aspiring to be leaders. Evaluations of an individuals capacity for handling larger or different leadership engagements can also be part of this work.
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