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Are you an Avocado Leader?

I love avocadoes. They are great on toast with tomatoes and ground pepper, or whizzed up in a chocolate mousse. But did I ever think they would be used to describe the new type of leadership? Um no, and it makes me wonder what is this research they have talking about.

I have read through this article and the full report, and my underlying thought was… finally a metaphor to describe how we all should be balancing the commercial realities of work with the realities of life. After all, we employ a person. A whole person – warts and all.

While we were in lockdown juggling life with work for all to see on the computer screen or through the phone, it couldn’t be ignored. This year has really shown us why it is important to lead our teams of people, of whole people, with empathy and vulnerability balanced with decisiveness and taking action.

But I have to say though, I don’t like the how the terms hard-skills and soft-skills are used any longer. Or that being empathic and caring towards people is a ‘soft skill’. It is a bloody hard thing to do genuinely if it doesn’t come naturally to you. Those ‘soft skills’ are difficult because when you practise it, you can be judged for being fake or trying too hard, rather than appreciated for trying at all.

I suspect those attributes and competencies considered as being ‘soft’ are actually the avocado pip. That hard centre. These are usually intertwined or were established from our morals, values and ethics developed from a young age. These don’t change if we stay true to ourselves.

So, if shifting your culture and leadership culture is on your radar and a work in progress here are three things you need to do:

  • reset expectations
  • build capabilities
  • hold them accountable
  • create a level of urgency without undue stress
Have you considered yourself to be an avocado leader?

To read the full article click here – HRM Online