As an impact-focused founder, you have a compelling vision of the world you want to create.
At the same time, there’s a certain image of what a successful leader looks like — the “king-of-the-world chest-beater” that prevails in the mainstream psyche.
What if you don’t fit that mold of the typical “alpha leader?”
What if you’re an introvert who prefers to speak quietly?
To underpromise and overdeliver?
It sets you up for imposter syndrome where, deep down, you’re afraid you’re not equipped to be a leader, of being exposed as a fraud.
You fall into the trap of The Sucker’s Choice: the belief that you can either play to win or play the game honorably, but not both.
When you believe that, you fight the problem — attacking and judging yourself for your perceived shortcomings.
Which eventually leads to burnout, isolation and affects your mental health.
But that’s the wrong battle.
Numerous studies have shown people will not follow a leader they feel is inauthentic.
So becoming an influential leader is not about changing who you are, it’s about becomingmore of who you are.
This tweet by Naval (a VC who’s so well known and respected he goes by his first name alone) might reassure you:
The good news is there is no universal archetype of an “inspirational leader.”
In fact, a survey by Bain and Company revealed something surprising:
The one leadership trait that matters most is centeredness. People want leaders who can remain calm under stress, empathize, listen deeply and be present.
This actually aligns with what true alpha behavior — not the inaccurate stereotype — looks like.
“‘The main characteristic of an alpha male wolf is quiet confidence, quiet self-assurance,’ says Richard McIntyre, a wolf researcher at Yellowstone National Park. ‘You know what’s best for your pack. You lead by example. You have a calming effect.’”
So the real challenge is not contorting yourself to some cookie-cutter version of leadership.
It’s learning how to show up powerfully as your authentic self.
“The ability to listen more to my intuition and use it. That’s what we reignited through our sessions,” one client told me.
That’s what I teach founders — how to leverage their strengths and master their emotions so they can trust themselves.
When they do, they become a magnet for the right kind of people.
They recover all the energy they put into trying to hide parts of themselves, and experience a sense of peace and invincibility.
And then they can focus on executing on their vision.
p.s. If you’re ready to level up your leadership skills so you can scale your company in 2023, let’s talk. We’ll map out a game plan to leverage your authentic strengths and influence as a leader faster than you thought possible. You can go here to schedule a call.