Do you remember your first boss? Of course you do!
Everyone has something they remember about their first boss – good or bad. Maybe it’s their lame jokes, ready smile, or high standards. Your first boss helped you form a perception of what a leader looks like in the workplace. What “shadow” did your first boss cast?
Leaders in organizations cast a shadow of influence – positive, negative, or indifferent – on everyone around them. The shadow of a leader can affect the culture of an entire organization.
Alex Selwood, co-founder of Expression for Growth, has long been fascinated with what makes people change their behavior. Expression for Growth, with offices in the United Kingdom and Canada, is a world leader in commercial capability training. 15dots spoke with Alex about how a Leader’s Shadow impacts employee recruitment, selection, and retention.
A Leader’s Shadow in an Interview
Today’s job market favors the employee. Thus, job applicants are choosy when looking for work and can exhibit very little loyalty to their employer. This is especially true for Gen Z, whose average tenure on a job can be as little as 8-12 months. In a job interview, applicants decide how they feel about an organization based on various factors, including the shadow cast by the interview leader. A leader with charisma and a positive Leader’s Shadow can spark a meaningful connection with applicants and bring the right talent on board.
A Leader’s Shadow Extends Past an Interview
Being in the interview room may be a leader’s first opportunity to cast a Leader’s Shadow, but it shouldn’t be the last. Leadership requires consistent, intentional behavior, not just when conducting an interview, but every day. No matter how good you are at casting a positive Leadership Shadow, everyone has rough days. So, what can you do to avoid casting a negative Leadership Shadow?
- Be conscious of the negativity and acknowledge that it’s not a good time to be around people.
- Take yourself completely away from that environment - break the state. Take a walk or sit on a bench. Get away for a while to renew your mental state.
- When you’re ready to once again cast a positive Leader’s Shadow, walk back into your space.
Changing the Leadership Shadow You Cast
When you look at an iceberg floating on an ocean, the ice above the water is only a small indication of what’s below. For people, we see only what’s on the outside. If you want to change your leadership shadow, first of all, you have to change what’s underneath. And what’s underneath is what you care about. If you want to be the leader who gets things done, takes people with them, and has a positive impact, you have to genuinely care about the people around you. Otherwise, your leadership will be superficial and crumble under pressure.
Three steps to change your Leader’s Shadow:
- Develop a mindset deep within you to truly care. Avoid being superficial.
- Get real about it. Make a decision about casting your shadow of choice.
- Develop your capabilities by translating your intentions into behavior.
Here’s an example: Think about how you walk into work in the morning. What do you want people to say in their heads when you walk through the door? That walk through the door links 100% to the shadow you choose to cast. So, be intentional in deciding what to say, who to look at, and how you represent yourself.
The Defining Moment of a Positive Leadership Shadow
If you’re serious about casting a brilliant leader shadow, then learn from the best in this video featuring Alex Selwood, an award-winning, global training expert.
Choose Talent that Casts a Brilliant Shadow
Leaders who make a positive impact on others are constantly aware of the shadow they cast. Their shadows attract others to them. In the workplace, positive Leader’s Shadows make it easier to recruit, select, and retain top talent. Contact us to learn how to repeatedly, reliably, and independently choose hires that cast brilliant shadows.