If only stepping down from a leadership role meant we could just crown the nearest flying monkey and run for the exit with a briefcase full of stock options!
When it comes time for a leader to go, s/he knows it and everyone else does, too! But taking action appropriately is harder than it might seem, because as our responsibilities expand, our self awareness sometimes just — shrinks. No matter how much we wish weʻd created a “Supreme Leadership Board,” itʻs up to us — and our team — to connect over a necessary change before change becomes a personnel crisis (or we get hypnotised by an evil winged monkey).
Transitioning leadership is a time when transformative leaders need to flex their servant leader muscles, and followers need to be empowered to take new roles and move out of their comfort zones. The shapeshifter leader has an easier time in transitions, because s/he’s able to switch roles and leadership styles more fluidly.
Remember, shapeshifter leaders, in the highest development of that archetype, have two things going for them:
1. They see through the greedy tricksters (the evil winged monkeys), because as leaders, they’ve been there, resisted that self-interested trap and chosen to use their skills in service to the organization and community.
2. They’ve learned not to take themselves — or their roles — too seriously. Roles change, tasks demand different leaders, life goes on. The shapeshifter leader has confidence because of excellent people skills and flexibility, and enjoys the dance with change enough to make it easier for everyone involved.
So, if you’re learning to dance with change, in your organization or your life, take a deep breath, kick the evil winged monkey out of town, fire the Supreme Leadership Board, and exercise your shapeshifter leadership muscles. With a pinch of humor and a foundation of integrity, anything is possible.