As part of the Ferocious Warmth leadership writing I have been undertaking lately, I've been digging deep into the two things that send us out of balance as leaders.
When UNMET NEED is driving the bus, we can head to behaviours that lack a conscious focus on either results or relationships. One goes by the wayside. We become victim to the voices in our head telling us that we need more control, more action, better standards, that people's work is not got enough! Or that it's not our fault, that people won't like us if we tell them the truth, or don't do what they want. These inner voices keep us small and have us unconsciously acting in ways that are either unhealthy, or don’t get the best outcomes for a strong culture. These voices are also habitual, stepping in when we are stressed, tired, anxious or simply unaware of their power. We head towards the extremes of leadership - Fearsome (far too ferocious) or Enmeshed (far too warm).
Our mind is busy with our SABOTEURS, according to Chamine. The Saboteurs are a universal phenomenon, formed in our early childhood. They start off as our guardians to help us survive the real and imagined threats to our physical and emotional safety. But as we get older, and don’t need them as much, our habitual ways of thinking keep them in employment.
His approach is to invoke The Sage. The Sage is the wise thinker, able to reframe our less than useful beliefs. The challenge as always is about being aware of them in the first place! I call The Sage my Ninja.
Our inner Saboteurs can come from a number of these types:
The ‘Accomplice’ Saboteurs:
Pleaser - wants us to try gain acceptance and affection by helping, pleasing, rescuing etc etc! Our real needs become secondary and then we become resentful.
Controller - wants us to take charge, get others to do what we want, and then gets highly anxious and impatient when that doesn’t happen.
Hyper-Achiever - must perform, must achieve, must be the best. Workaholic tendencies and a disconnection from deeper emotions and relationship needs.
Avoider - avoids unpleasant and difficult tasks by being positive and pleasant in an extreme way. Procrastinates, puts things off until things fester or explode.
Hyper-Vigilant - highly anxious that things around us could go wrong and the danger we may be in. Wears us down and blows things out of proportion.
Restless - continuously on the look out for greater excitement. Always busy. Highly distractible.
Stickler - needs perfection, order, and high levels of organisation. Causes anxiety and stress for ourselves and those around us.
Victim - wants us to feel emotional and termperamental as a way of getting attention and affection. A big focus on internal feelings. Martyr behaviours can come up.
Hyper-Rational - wants us to process everything from a rational viewpoint, including relationships. Causes us to be impatient with other people's emotions.
In these weird days, having deep self-awareness of where we are at is vital for our wellbeing, not to mention our effectiveness as leaders.
Is your SAGE driving the bus, or your SABOTEURS?
If you are interested in finding out what your Saboteurs are, go to positiveintelligence.com and take the Saboteurs Assessment - it’s enlightening! The book Positive Intelligence is full of great ways to bring your Sage into the picture, when you feel your Saboteur winning.