Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success?

Sep 03, 2021

I love working with leaders, especially leaders who don’t always self-identify. The reluctant ones… You see, I have an ingrained belief that everyone has superpowers in them and I delight in helping others to get in touch with theirs. It’s a simple exercise but not easy.

So, when this question came up in a recent article brief I didn’t hesitate to answer. For me, having done the work and overcome my own demons the traits were clear and strong. I don’t believe that they are a universal guide but stepping into these certainly does give me more potency in my personal leadership.

How did I answer?

With these three:


1. The belief that anything is possible.

In my late twenties, I’d joined a rowing team for the first time. We were all about the social and not about the competition! Over the winter, we trained together at the local gym. The instructor there showed us all of the different pieces of equipment, and I loved the indoor rower. She told me I was quick and I should consider competing. I thought she was having a laugh at my expense but gave it a go. And I won! Then I kept winning! First regional events, then doing really well in the British, European, and ultimately World Championships. In all, I’ve competed in Team GB three times in a sport I didn’t realize I was good at. That principle cracked open a whole new perspective on business and in life.

2. Relatability

This is key for modern leadership. Businesses are human systems, and you need to build connections and trust quickly. I’m generally open and primarily positive. I enjoy hearing what people have to say and bring myself to work. That brings vulnerability, of course, but it also builds loyalty and an environment of psychological safety where people can be creative, honest, and don’t fear failure.

3. The ability to dance with uncertainty.

I mention that businesses are human systems where people lead people who serve other people. If you think about it, each of us has different feelings every day, sometimes at different points of the day. When you put a bunch of people together, the combinations are mind-boggling. We’ve thought that we can control human environments with planning and process for too long, but businesses are much more complex than that. Of course, guide the business through planning but never assume that it will be perfect. I think it’s a viewpoint that can help you be prepared for anything; you’re more likely to stay curious and observant when things change and more in control of regaining a sense of power, which is ironic when you remember that you’re not really in control!

Look closely, and you’ll see an authenticity in my response. If you know me or spent more than 5 minutes in my company, you’ll know that I’ve revealed a deep truth. But my answers haven’t always been that clear.

At times, I’d have given a generic answer, one that hid away my own talents, one that didn’t recognise my own superpowers.

How in touch are you with your own skills? When you share them are they a bit bland? Do they reveal your inner truth.

When you share them, is it with a strength and conviction that says – damn that’s me and I’m awesome? They should, because you are.

If you’d like to explore more of these secrets with me, to step away from the blah and get in touch with your own raw power, get in touch today!

This blog is based on a recent interview for Authority magazine on The 5 Things You Should Do If You Are Experiencing Work Burnout. Click here to read the article: https://medium.com/authority-magazine/beating-burnout-claire-oatway-on-the-5-things-you-should-do-if-you-are-experiencing-work-burnout-2c29633f6158

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