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Insights: How to Lead While Being Laid Back

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Ask the Expert! Through WISE Insights,Connect with knowledgeable experts to receive honest and thoughtful answers to your career-related questions, or read about challenges your peers are facing.

Question

Submitted by: WISE Los Angeles member | 6-15 years professional experience

I’m naturally laid back; how do I work with this and be a great leader?

Answer

Being “laid back” is a preference. Think of it as a mindset and a style of behaving. I can’t think of one “great leader” who is described as laid back. That’s not to say there aren’t any, but leadership is about inspiring and motivating people to achieve. It’s the art of leading others to deliberately create a result that wouldn’t have happened otherwise.

The definition of laid back includes words like relaxed, easy-going, nonchalant, non-confrontational, calm, unconcerned, unbothered, and casual. Not generally attributes that inspire and motivate others.

Great leaders have the ability to style-flex. They understand that people are motivated by different things. Rather than locking yourself into the idea of being a laid back leader, try on other approaches. Use the benefits that being laid back gives you — like being unruffled and calm — to your advantage. I’m not suggesting you be insincere; I’m suggesting that you don’t automatically behave as you’ve always done especially when you’re moving into a new role. Good luck!

Amanda Mitchell

About Amanda Mitchell

Amanda Mitchell, Corporate Navigator at Our Corporate Life, helps people just like you find what they love to do so they can have more of it in their work life. You'll be happier, your employer will be happier and ultimately corporate suffering will be reduced.

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