Leaders, Who Are You?

Leaders, who are you? 

Who are you, not as a leader but as a person? Where are you in your life, what do you value and how does this impact or inform your leadership? It's not a question of "if" this impacts or informs your leadership, it is a question of "how." Really, it is.

In her post, Be Who You Are, writer Becky Robinson shares her life today and her three beautiful daughters and writes, "As I write about leadership, I bring all of who I am." She writes, "discovering and defining who we are includes understanding and accepting our unique life circumstances, values, preferences, and limitations" and asks, "who are you?"

I am Lisa. Lisa Anne to be exact although my friends call me Lisa Marie. My Twitter bio says I am a wife, mother and HR professional. I have an amazing husband and the absolute-without-a-doubt-twinkle-in-my-eye-smile-on-my-lips-and-pride-in-my-voice is my daughter. I choose to work in HR, but that's not really who I am. It's just my job. 

A good friend commented the other day that she felt outside my "inner circle." I laughed. I don't have an inner circle. I have triangles: me, the husband and the kid; work, school and exercise; cooking (ok, take out), cleaning and homework.

I  traveled a bunch back in the day and stick close to home now, am not aiming for the coveted "top" of any one's organization or list, am defining success my way (definition still in progress), and will stop in my tracks for bagels, tiramisu, and bear claws. I work too much, don't exercise enough and haven't read a book in months. Some days it's sorta pitiful but in the big picture, it's all good.

Oh, and I envy the extrovert. I am an introvert. If there was ever any doubt in my mind (and there wasn't), reading Introverted Leaders: Gifts and Cautions by Mary Jo Asmus, reconfirmed it for me, gifts aside, when she wrote this caution about how introverted leaders. . .  

Can become stressed when they don’t pay attention to their need for time alone: Pay attention to the physical symptoms that indicate that you are draining your energy and not recharging your batteries.  Finding strategies that help you to maintain this balance are important to avoid stress-induced illness. For many introverts, actually scheduling solitary activities or hobbies into their calendar may be helpful.

That about says it all. It's me, it's part of who I am and it's what I bring to the table. No matter how much I wish I was different, I am not. I am the way that I am for good reasons and the reasons continue to show themselves in different ways. Be it a thank you from an unexpected source, inner strength to make (and communicate) a tough decision - compassionately, or a cry for confidence from my little girl - the reasons are there.

So, can you really capture the sum of a person in a few words? Not really, but this is a bit about who I am and what I bring to my family, my friends and my leadership. Who are you?