Shakespeare wrote “all the world’s a stage and men and women merely players.” In the world of leadership, the workplace provides the stage for us to perform as leaders, and too often we no longer recognize which is the act and which is us. In 1959, Erving Goffman called this dramatology and used it to explain the way individuals choose to present themselves to the world. Eventually, this idea became known as Impression Management, a behavior used to control the way a person is perceived by others (their image) in an effort to gain or maintain power, influence, or position.
I’ve heard one of my favorite authors, Jo Saxton, ask the question “Who were you before others told you who you were?” Great question, isn’t it? When we are caught in the grip of impression management, we are more concerned with portraying the right image and being seen with the right people than we are about finding value in our own identity. When we cannot separate other people’s impressions of us from our own self, we can tend to focus so hard on the view of others that we lose sight of ourselves. As a result, we strive harder to manage our image than to manage our leadership.
Leadership growth begins with recognizing yourself and all you bring to the leadership table. You already possess the desire to lead or you wouldn’t be reading this article. With each step into the leadership arena, your confidence grows. Be authentic in who you are and confident in what YOU have to offer. You will then be able to step boldly into YOUR leadership rather than remaining in the shadow of someone else’s.
Dr. Joy Karavedas
This article is an excerpt from my new book, From Striving to Thriving. Available now on Amazon. Click the link here to get your copy: https://amzn.to/3GdSP2i
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