Leadership In Action

The Dangers of Over-Adapting to Your Role in Business

December 6, 2017

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I'm Deb- CEO, worldwide executive coach, mentor, consultant and speaker. I'm here to help you take your leadership and impact to the next level!

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The Dangers of Over-Adapting to Your Role in Business

Did you know that your innate strengths show up in everything you do?

We grow up in various circumstances and obtain a unique set of experiences along the way, but there is one constant: we are, innately, who we were designed to be.

We may try to adjust our way into different roles based on the expectations of others, but the real core of who we are will always be there.

In today’s business world, a great deal of adjustment is taking place.

We adjust for the market; we adjust for job expectations; we adjust for the roles we are assigned. But if we are not careful, we will become so “adjusted” that we lose ourselves in the process.

An example of an executive comes to mind. By virtue of her strengths and talents for setting and reaching unprecedented goals with her team, she was recognized and promoted to an executive position. Once in that role, however, she began to adapt to what she assumed was expected of her. She took on a more aggressive role, thinking that she needed to act, speak, and move more boldly in order to be like the rest of the executive team. She even changed her wardrobe to fit into “the mold.”

While she accomplished a great deal and found respectable levels of success in her new role, she began to lose herself in the process. The work she previously loved was now burdensome. The calmly confident energy she brought to the table was now drained to a critically low level. Those closest to her could notice the shift she tried so hard to make. It came across as inauthentic to who she really was.

Ultimately, despite the success of her accomplishments, she took on a serious illness and left the position.

The irony of this story is that who she really was is exactly what the executive team needed.

It is critical to your success that you lead with your strengths. Be who YOU are, not who someone else is. You have been blessed with strengths that are unique to you. When you operate in those strengths, it has exponential power to carry you to levels of unprecedented success. When you over-adapt, you start to lose your edge, and this affects all areas of your life – health, finances, relationships, and ultimately the position to which you are trying to adapt.

The fact is, if you are not genuine to who you are in what you do, you will feel stress. The further you get from your true strengths, the higher your level of stress will be. And we all know the serious ramifications of long-term, high levels of stress.

How can you ensure you are working in your strengths zone?

  1. Know exactly what your strengths are.

Our Strengths Assessments have been used by thousands of individuals to hone in on who they are at the core. It takes the experimentation and guesswork out of the picture and helps you learn your strengths with true scientific precision.

  1. Apply those strengths to roles that fit you.

As part of the assessment, you learn what roles fit you best and what type of work environment you need to be at your best. For example, there isn’t one specific personality that can be a CEO. But there is a specific set of strengths each CEO must bring to the table in order be authentic to who they are and to obtain true and lasting success. The assessment will help you determine what fits and how you can do your best work, either in the role you have or in a better-suited role.

  1. Don’t try to change who you are.

Frankly, it doesn’t work. But more importantly, it keeps you from making your greatest contribution to your team. Your team needs YOU, not you trying to adapt to be like everyone else.

Take a moment and ask yourself if the work you are currently doing fits you. Do you enjoy it? Do you come to work with energy…or dread? Do you feel like you can work in a manner that fits you well…or are you sensing stress and conflict in your work? Are you achieving the results you know you can achieve, or are you forcing a success that you just can’t quite reach?

The answer to any issues you uncover may very well indicate a need to shift into your strengths zone.

If we can be of help to you in this area, please contact us. It is our passion to help leaders serve in their greatest areas of strength.

As the CEO of Strength Leader Development, Deb Ingino is a highly sought-after international executive mentor, coach, trainer and speaker. Deb is well versed in global business operations and helps business leaders and their teams to discover and leverage their strengths, so they can create highly collaborative teams that deliver great results. With a refreshingly direct style, Deb helps leaders and their teams to deliver profitable results. Connect with Deb to learn more about her mentorship and coaching programs to equip you with advanced strategies to elevate your results.