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  • Writer's pictureBrianna

The Self-Differentiated Leader and Learner

I think being a leader is stressful, but being an effective leader is even more stressful. The difference between the two is that an effective leader is aware that leading change is not going to be easy, but well worth it. That type of leader is going to recognize their own anxiety and find proper and effective ways to regulate that. I don’t think it’s about eliminating the stress, but rather thriving in it and working passed it.

Sabotage indicates that the virus is taking over. This is when the one person (or group of people) that begin to infect the rest of the crowd or body with their negativity. Their words take over others’ thoughts and lead to no action for change. The effective leader is viewed as the one who wants to destroy the complacency that is had. The shake up is needed though, and oddly enough, if sabotage is occurring then your initiative is already working. To make their organization a better place, the effective leader will have to continue to ignore what “the virus” is saying and doing and allow their actions to be the proof to other individuals that are watching the change happen. The self differentiated leader will eventually show others that although their work may be different from the status quo, effective change is happening without the stress and anxiety others are still facing.

I think I will need to be focusing more on crucial conversations in the beginning stages of my change strategy. Click here to read how I plan to use the crucial conversation tools with my team. I feel that since this innovation is new there will undoubtedly be conversations that could very easily become heated discussions and arguments, if they are not approached properly. I feel that once the new wears off and my innovation plan becomes something that others are familiar with, then in that point in time differentiated leadership will become more significant.

Becoming a self-differentiated leader will require me to become proficient in my emotional process of things rather than my traits or skills as a leader. Although those are important, this is what will set me and my team apart from the others. I will be their calm in the midst of the storms that lie ahead. This will in turn allow my team to receive my non-anxious response that they are needing to conquer the difficulties they face.

While a good leader takes other’s opinions into account, it is important to stay true to one’s own identity. Connecting with others and their ideas is a good skill to practice, but taking the emotion out of this situation is what a self-differentiated leader should also be practicing. I will not be falling into the triangle and anxiety that others may be protruding. Remaining connected with my peers while having a well defined stance will be important to the success of my innovation plan.

An emotional immune system is something I did not think I would have to become as a leader, but I am finding that it will become a very important asset. Doing this will show my team that I am able to tolerate their discomfort and develop it into something that is healthy and positive. Moving towards this direction will continue to help myself, my team, and my initiative become successful despite what is occurring around us.


Vital Smarts India. (2012, February 10). Crucial Conversations Explained in 2 Minutes [Video]. YouTube.

Mathew David Bardwell. (2010, November 10). Friedman's Theory of Differentiated Leadership Made Simple [Video]. YouTube.

Conquer covid chaos by finding your calm in the eye of the storm - flasg global - supply chain logistic. (2020, July 22). Flasg Global - Supply Chain Logistic. Retrieved May 1, 2021, from

Dispenza, J. (n.d.). Staying calm in the eye of the storm. Retrieved May 1, 2021, from

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