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Brows and Leadership

Sometimes after doing my eyebrows—shaping, lining, filling in— I notice they look a little different from one another. They may look great, but they look different. Say, the arch on my right eyebrow is perfect and the left does not exactly match. So, what do I do? I try to fix the brows. I mess with the left eyebrow to try and make it look like the right brow. The result tends to be worse because I tried too hard to make my brows look the same. I get frustrated and my fun “getting ready” routine is not fun anymore. 

The issue is I forget that, although my brows look similar, they are not meant to be the same. I have a scar on my left eyebrow from the three times I had it pierced. (I was a teenager in the 90s. That is what we did.) Also, I am right-handed, which means it is easier for me to shape my right brow than my left brow. I part my hair in a way so that it touches my left brow and changes it throughout the day. I sometimes wish I had a stencil to achieve brow symmetry, but that would not look natural. Instead of trying to make my brows look identical, it is best when I work with what I have and shape each look their best. 

This is a lot like leadership. Our teammates and colleagues have a shared goal, but each person brings different strengths and operates differently. Trying to “coach” everyone to be like the person we assess to be the top “performer” does not work. The result is mediocre performance, the leader/manager stepping in to try and fix things, and everyone gets frustrated. 

Effective leadership sees each person and their unique strengths. It sees the natural resourcefulness and wholeness of each individual. It creates a climate that empowers everyone to harness their power for good—professional and personal growth, healthy teamwork, and high performance. 

Instead of trying to make people fit a stencil—whatever the unspoken ideal prototype of the organization—we can support and empower each team member and colleague to be who they are and do their best. Each person is unique and makes unique contributions to the shared goals. 

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