The challenge for us as leaders is the self-awareness to discern how our shadow impacts the way we lead– e.g. decision-making, strategic planning, team building, ways we deal with conflict, and transitions.
When I first wrote The Emotionally Healthy Leader, I was acutely aware that readers wanted the last four chapters of the book first, i.e. what I call the outer life, the immediate practical helps to improve their leadership. The problem is that all our leadership tasks are informed by who we are, i.e. our inner life. For this reason, the first half of the book is dedicated to unpacking those core issues.
And the first inner life issue every leader must confront is his or her shadow.
Why? Everyone has a shadow.
Shadows are those untamed emotions and behaviors that lie, largely unconscious, beneath the surface of our lives that constitute the damaged versions of who we are. They may be sinful; they may simply be weaknesses. Most importantly, they lie concealed just beneath the surface of our more proper selves.
Consider the following chart that contrasts how we face our shadows in standard practice vs. how to face them in an emotionally healthy way:
Next Tuesday (June 21st) at 12 noon EST, I will be hosting a free webinar on Facing Your Shadow. I will unpack this powerful theme in an hour as well as take questions from the audience. Click on the image below to register.