Finding Your Own Leadership Voice and Style

By Chris McAlister

Photo by Peet Sneekes.

It’s a natural process to be impacted by someone’s leadership and then copy that leadership for a season.

It’s what you know so it’s what you do.

But at some point you have to learn to lead through your voice and style.

Just because someone you deeply respect does certain things in their leadership of others doesn’t mean you should.

It’s so liberating to be able to lead from who you are. Here’s how to do it:

1. Learn to pay attention to your intuition.

Non-robotic leadership begins with learning to pay attention to your gut. Don’t gloss over moments. Watch body language. Try to discern the feel of the group you’re leading in relation to the issues that are most pressing. Don’t assume everyone’s on board. Don’t assume everyone is antagonistic. Where are you hyping yourself past reality? Where do you need to be brutally honest? Where because of insecurity do you want to ignore what is really happening?

2. Courageously experiment with different strategies and tactics.

Finding you own leadership voice and style won’t happen if you’re always waiting on someone to give you permission. Give yourself permission. And try it! End the meeting different. Start it different. Communicate the next the step to your organization like you would share something with your spouse. (Assuming the relationship is healthy.) This will free you of the need to impress and allow you to communicate with greater clarity. Paying attention to you intuition will help you to face reality. Then you won’t be experimenting blindly. Last…

3. Stay aware of your fears.

The more you are aware of who you are the more your leadership will wreak with authenticity. And the more people will want to follow you. They will find joy in leading with you. What’s the fast track to becoming aware of who you are? Pay attention to what you’re afraid of in your leadership. We are all afraid. We all struggle with fears. Fear has its vice grip around the throat of many leaders and they have no idea the power it has over them. When you learn to be aware of your fears you can stop blindly leading from them and your leadership will be the overflow of who you are.

I help people figure out their fears and how to find courage in them. I have seen this process work. It can work for you too.

Chris McAlister

Chris McAlister has pastored and served in churches small and large for over ten years. He is pastor of Discovery Church in Columbus, Ohio. He is an adjunct professor at Capital University and he is the chief facilitator of SightShift events. He counsels, coaches, and trains leaders of all types.