• Sophia Chin

Making Leadership Personal

Updated: Feb 3

How to stop burnout without losing your leadership edge.

Making Leadership Personal

HBR will have you believe that there is a standard formula for becoming a successful CEO. A model answer for CEO excellence. They make effective leadership look almost effortless. Just add water, and ready to lead.

They are all lies.


Sure, we’ve come across great leaders who make effective leadership look natural and effortless. They have that… je ne sais quoi. That X-factor. They look so effortlessly confident. Working with them feels easy. They bring out the best in everyone, helping teams and organisations prosper. They’re the dream bosses. They deliver extraordinary results, and they make it all look easy.

Here’s the thing. What you see are their behaviours and results - their leadership persona - and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.



We are often inspired by what we see, which is people's leadership persona. But leadership persona is shaped by mindsets (mind, heart, will) which lie below the surface of the ocean. Making leadership look that easy is the result of a lot of inner work - careful cultivation of good mindsets over a long time. These leaders have been through the school of hard knocks. They have learnt what works and what doesn’t because they have tried it all, and that makes them very wise.


Like it or not, you already have a leadership persona. You have a reputation based on how you get things done and how you interact with others. If you desire for that je ne sais quoi, if you want to be like these leaders, you can’t simply copy their behaviours. That’s like chipping away at the bits and pieces of ice at the tip of the iceberg. You’ll only be going through the motions. For deep transformation to happen, you need to shift the lens of discernment from focusing on these leaders back to you. You need to go inwards to the bottom of your iceberg and change your underlying mindsets. Everyone’s mindsets are different. It’s shaped by our experiences and upbringing. We have distinct personalities, motivations and aptitudes. Also, developing the right mindsets depends on the context that you’re in. That’s why leadership is deeply personal. It’s not one-size-fits-all.


Making leadership personal is that deep transformation journey. And our modern corporate world provides us with many opportunities to do so. We are constantly in conflict with the difficulties we face at work. We ignore it. We avoid it. We try to get rid of it. Our greatest mistake is not recognising these difficult situations as the opportunity for learning and growth.


It can feel like the edge of despair. But this is also the edge of greatness, if you hold the space to reflect and learn from the experience, instead of running away from it.


Of course, this is up to you. But whether you like it or not, those underlying mindsets are at work. You can pay attention to it and make it your superpower. Or you can ignore it and have it become your kryptonite.


Something big is tugging at your brain, something that matters, something you cannot not do? You need to figure this thing out, deal with whatever is coming at you before you lose your edge.


We can help get that thing. Hold the space for that strategic conversation with your inner wisdom. Create your leadership brand and go live up to it. Reach your next level performance by making leadership personal.


If you like reading more about leadership and change, join our newsletter, stay inspired here.



PERSONNA is a leadership development company focused on the people side of transformation. We hold a simple belief that everyone is an extraordinary force for positive change, and our solutions should be as unique and agile as you and your business challenges.


We’re here to help people become better leaders, build highly-effective teams, and create a culture of trust & collaboration in their organisations. We provide leadership branding, leadership coaching and group experiences. If you are curious to learn more drop us an email to hello@personna.me.

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