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Being a Leader Is Overrated: Find Your Unique Superpower

Being a Leader Is Overrated: Find Your Unique Superpower

Having interviewed hundreds of candidates, I heard similar patterns when it came to career goals. Many people talked about wanting to be leaders or managers when talking about future aspirations, yet when asked why, the answers were pretty disappointing.

Most people responded with a general view that they’d just like to be some kind of leader or even that they should become a leader because that is seen as the epitome of success in some way.

Leadership roles are mistakenly seen as superior to others

Leadership doesn’t automatically mean you’re successful. Leadership roles are mistakenly seen as superior to others, yet a leader is primarily someone who coordinates, directs projects and allocates resources. Yes, this is an important role but just being in this role doesn’t equate success, rather it’s what you achieve in this role.

Becoming a leader doesn’t necessarily make you successful

Think of Adolf Hitler. You may consider him a skilled politician who psychologically succeeded at spurring and manipulating the emotions of an entire country, but he wasn’t a great leader as he essentially led people to make the world a worse place.

Being a leader isn’t always the easiest path to success as we believe it is

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    With leadership comes pressure and sometimes unrealistic expectations from others. Therefore it isn’t always the easiest path to success as we believe it is. When we recall past and current world leaders, most are considered bad, incompetent or manipulative.

    Think of highly successful people like the author JK Rowling or basketball player Stephen Curry. Both are highly skilled in their profession (in fact, both have become the top 1% in their field) but they don’t necessarily know anything about leadership showing that leadership shouldn’t be automatically considered ‘success’.

    Without followers, this world would essentially be doomed

    In society, leaders are important. They are needed to create efficiency and organisation within a structure. But still, even without leaders, as humans, we are able to still survive without them albeit less efficiently.

    But without followers, this world would essentially be doomed. The success and sustentation of our world come from the hard work of experts who do the real work. These are the ones creating, expanding and improving our society. If everyone was a leader, we’d end up creating nothing.

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      Using our strengths to create success: the 16 Personalities model

      We all have our own unique talents and it’s using these to our advantage that will truly make us successful.

      Looking at the 16 personalities model [1], we can see that each personality type is represented by a certain role and set of strengths that can be applied in the right way to create success. In other words, anyone can flourish and be successful if they apply their traits well and, more often than not, this doesn’t include any type of leadership.

      Take the personality type INFP or ‘mediator’ – these people tend to be creative, compassionate and charitable. While these attributes don’t immediately spring to mind as obvious skills for success, both Shakespeare and J.R.R Tolkien fall into this personality type and we all know how successful they ultimately became.

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      Take the 16 Personalities Test to identify your own strengths

      For some of us, our strengths or weaknesses aren’t always obvious and when it comes to our careers, knowing what these are can help figure out what path would suit us best. Taking the 16 Personalities Test can help you do this by answering a set of questions that best sums up the type of person you are and where your strengths lie.

          The SWOT Analysis Technique

          Another technique you can use to determine what your strengths and weaknesses are, and use them to your advantage in your career, is the SWOT analysis.

          SWOT stands for: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.

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            A crossover strategy is used to analyze where your strengths and weaknesses can help maximize or minimize opportunities and threats. In other words, how your strengths can maximize opportunities and minimize threats, while finding out how your weaknesses can be minimized using opportunities and how you can minimize your weaknesses to avoid threats.

            This process helps you identify opportunities and threats early so you can thrive in your career.

            Analyzing yourself is the key to becoming successful. The general consensus tends to point towards leadership as the ultimate way of succeeding in any given career but this isn’t the case. Everyone has different personality traits that don’t necessarily make good leaders, yet utilizing your strengths correctly can bring you the success you deserve.

              Photo credit: Source

              Reference

              [1] 16 personalities: Personality Types

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              Leon Ho

              Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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              Last Updated on March 25, 2020

              How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

              How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

              Habits are hard to kill, and rightly so. They are a part and parcel of your personality traits and mold your character.

              However, habits are not always something over-the-top and quirky enough to get noticed. Think of subtle habits like tapping fingers when you are nervous and humming songs while you drive. These are nothing but ingrained habits that you may not realize easily.

              Just take a few minutes and think of something specific that you do all the time. You will notice how it has become a habit for you without any explicit realization. Everything you do on a daily basis starting with your morning routine, lunch preferences to exercise routines are all habits.

              Habits mostly form from life experiences and certain observed behaviors, not all of them are healthy. Habitual smoking can be dangerous to your health. Similarly, a habit could also make you lose out on enjoying something to its best – like how some people just cannot stop swaying their bodies when delivering a speech.

              Thus, there could be a few habits that you would want to change about yourself. But changing habits is not as easy as it seems.

              In this article, you will learn why it isn’t easy to build new habits, and how to change habits.

              What Makes It Hard To Change A Habit?

              To want to change a particular habit means to change something very fundamental about your behavior.[1] Hence, it’s necessary to understand how habits actually form and why they are so difficult to actually get out of.

              The Biology

              Habits form in a place what we call the subconscious mind in our brain.[2]

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              Our brains have two modes of operation. The first one is an automatic pilot kind of system that is fast and works on reflexes often. It is what we call the subconscious part. This is the part that is associated with everything that comes naturally to you.

              The second mode is the conscious mode where every action and decision is well thought out and follows a controlled way of thinking.

              A fine example to distinguish both would be to consider yourself learning to drive or play an instrument. For the first time you try learning, you think before every movement you make. But once you have got the hang of it, you might drive without applying much thought into it.

              Both systems work together in our brains at all times. When a habit is formed, it moves from the conscious part to the subconscious making it difficult to control.

              So, the key idea in deconstructing a habit is to go from the subconscious to the conscious.

              Another thing you have to understand about habits is that they can be conscious or hidden.

              Conscious habits are those that require active input from your side. For instance, if you stop setting your alarm in the morning, you will stop waking up at the same time.

              Hidden habits, on the other hand, are habits that we do without realizing. These make up the majority of our habits and we wouldn’t even know them until someone pointed them out. So the first difficulty in breaking these habits is to actually identify them. As they are internalized, they need a lot of attention to detail for self-identification. That’s not all.

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              Habits can be physical, social, and mental, energy-based and even be particular to productivity. Understanding them is necessary to know why they are difficult to break and what can be done about them.

              The Psychology

              Habits get engraved into our memories depending on the way we think, feel and act over a particular period of time. The procedural part of memory deals with habit formation and studies have observed that various types of conditioning of behavior could affect your habit formations.

              Classical conditioning or pavlovian conditioning is when you start associating a memory with reality.[3] A dog that associates ringing bell to food will start salivating. The same external stimuli such as the sound of church bells can make a person want to pray.

              Operant conditioning is when experience and the feelings associated with it form a habit.[4] By encouraging or discouraging an act, individuals could either make it a habit or stop doing it.

              Observational learning is another way habits could take form. A child may start walking the same way their parent does.

              What Can You Do To Change a Habit?

              Sure, habits are hard to control but it is not impossible. With a few tips and hard-driven dedication, you can surely get over your nasty habits.

              Here are some ways that make use of psychological findings to help you:

              1. Identify Your Habits

              As mentioned earlier, habits can be quite subtle and hidden from your view. You have to bring your subconscious habits to an aware state of mind. You could do it by self-observation or by asking your friends or family to point out the habit for your sake.

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              2. Find out the Impact of Your Habit

              Every habit produces an effect – either physical or mental. Find out what exactly it is doing to you. Does it help you relieve stress or does it give you some pain relief?

              It could be anything simple. Sometimes biting your nails could be calming your nerves. Understanding the effect of a habit is necessary to control it.

              3. Apply Logic

              You don’t need to be force-fed with wisdom and advice to know what an unhealthy habit could do to you.

              Late-night binge-watching just before an important presentation is not going to help you. Take a moment and apply your own wisdom and logic to control your seemingly nastily habits.

              4. Choose an Alternative

              As I said, every habit induces some feeling. So, it could be quite difficult to get over it unless you find something else that can replace it. It can be a simple non-harming new habit that you can cultivate to get over a bad habit.

              Say you have the habit of banging your head hard when you are angry. That’s going to be bad for you. Instead, the next time you are angry, just take a deep breath and count to 10. Or maybe start imagining yourself on a luxury yacht. Just think of something that will work for you.

              5. Remove Triggers

              Get rid of items and situations that can trigger your bad habit.

              Stay away from smoke breaks if you are trying to quit it. Remove all those candy bars from the fridge if you want to control your sweet cravings.

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              6. Visualize Change

              Our brains can be trained to forget a habit if we start visualizing the change. Serious visualization is retained and helps as a motivator in breaking the habit loop.

              For instance, to replace your habit of waking up late, visualize yourself waking up early and enjoying the early morning jog every day. By continuing this, you would naturally feel better to wake up early and do your new hobby.

              7. Avoid Negative Talks and Thinking

              Just as how our brain is trained to accept a change in habit, continuous negative talk and thinking could hamper your efforts put into breaking a habit.

              Believe you can get out of it and assert yourself the same.

              Final Thoughts

              Changing habits isn’t easy, so do not expect an overnight change!

              Habits took a long time to form. It could take a while to completely break out of it. You will have to accept that sometimes you may falter in your efforts. Don’t let negativity seep in when it seems hard. Keep going at it slowly and steadily.

              More About Changing Habits

              Featured photo credit: Mel via unsplash.com

              Reference

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