When I first started thinking about the people we needed at Mission Equality and sketching out an org design for how to structure the team, the plans quickly grew from the 4 of us from my previous startup to a team of around 50 people 😱

Two of the most important lessons I learned at said former startup were:

  1. Stay as streamlined as possible – fast growth across a team also exponentially increases the financial outgoings which either quickly drains any funding raised and/or requires significant ramp-up and sustainable maintenance of sales and income.
  2. Hire slowly – finding the best fit (on both sides) is not a quick process and parting ways isn’t always a smooth experience. Managing exits kindly, fairly and with as little disruption to others requires significant energy and effort.

In a small startup, managing people can quickly become a founder’s full time job (along with the other 10 full time jobs they do!).

At Mission Equality, we encourage and facilitate a different approach. We expect everyone to be a leader…first and foremost of themselves.

What Does Leading Oneself Mean?

Welcome to…you! Leading oneself is a personal exploration of your needs, wants and quirks.

Much like not being able to truly love someone else until you can truly love yourself, leading yourself works the same way. Because it means…

  • Understanding what it looks like to be at your ‘best’.
  • Understanding what you need to be at your ‘best’.
  • Understanding what it looks like when you’re not at your ‘best’.
  • Understanding what you need when you’re not at your ‘best’.
  • Being able to give yourself what you need to be at your ‘best’ and when you’re not.

When you can do this – well – for yourself, you can do it well for others because as the saying goes: You can’t pour from an empty cup.

Leading oneself means being able to self manage:

  • Your energy levels
  • Your schedule
  • Your creativity
  • Your output and production
  • Your rest and rejuvenation
  • Your emotions and feelings
  • Your responses and reactions
  • Your language and communication…and a whole lot more.

When everyone takes full responsibility for leading and managing themselves, they don’t need leading or managing by anyone else.

What Does This Look Like In A Business?

At Mission Equality, the expectation that everyone is a leader means that we are all…equal.

There is no hierarchy of leadership or management – we still each have our own roles, goals, tasks and responsibilities (though these can be as fluid and flexible as needed) – but nobody is above or below anyone else, we are all on the same, equal level.

When folks need support – as we all do at times – this becomes more about connection, collaboration and trust…not management or leadership. It’s a meeting of individuals – all equal and all different.

If you’d like to learn how to lead – yourself and others – from this new paradigm, find out more about the Mx of Equality Business & Leadership programme here.

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