Have you noticed how everywhere you go these days looks the same? I was recently talking with a guy who travels a lot and he pointed out that he sometimes has a hard time remembering where he is. Why? Because America has been cloned.
Used to, you could go to different parts of the country and you knew where you were based on certain geographical characteristics. In Wisconsin you could expect cheese. Out west, rugged landscapes. In New England, lots of traffic. In the Midwest, conservative values. In Chicago, bad baseball. And in the south, sweet tea and peaches.
Unfortunately things have changed. Nowadays when you travel from place to place you will find a lot of similarities. Big box stores, fast food chains, and expensive coffee litter the land. Everywhere you go you see the same Best Buy’s, Wal-Marts, Home Depots, McDonald’s, TJ Maxx’s, and Starbucks. You step off of a plane and you have no idea where you are because everywhere looks the same. America has lost its identity and its voice.
Many leaders are the same way. They spend more time trying to replicate what someone else is doing rather than trying to be themselves. Leaders assume that if something is working for someone else it should be copied. The latest and greatest methodologies and techniques are embraced making it easy to forget who we really are.
Don’t get me wrong, it is important to learn from others successes as well as failures. However, in the end if we want to maximize our influence we must be true to who we are.
As you assess yourself as a leader, have you lost your way? Do you spend more time trying to copy someone else than you do attempting to discover and utilize your own gifts and strengths? I hope not. The fact is there is only one you. No one else thinks like you, has your ideas, or possesses your potential.
Set aside some time this week and re-clarify who you are. I think you will find that you are one of a kind.
Randy is an author, speaker, executive coach, and the CEO of InteGREAT Leadership. He invests his time encouraging leaders around the world.