The Wardrobe MalfunctionJan 07, 2021
Have you ever started your work week with a wardrobe malfunction and an international incident at the same time?
I once departed Boston on a Sunday night and arrived in London early the next morning.
I headed straight to our office near Paddington to prep for our first client meeting.
While changing clothes in the loo, I gasped in horror—I had forgotten to pack dress socks.
No shops that sell dress socks were open, and we were pressed for time.
I had to take our 9am meeting wearing gleaming white tube socks under my bespoke gray suit pants.
My comfy travel socks weren’t the problem—they hadn’t changed at all—but the context had.
Understanding your context is key to your performance as a leader.
Your leadership context includes:
Your natural leadership strengths and blind spots
The individual preferences and capabilities of your team members
The collective dynamic of your cohesive team, group, or unit
Your strategic or operational intent; your overarching mission
As any Saville Row tailor will tell you, these leadership threads are intertwined and they often get tangled.
The craft of leadership requires us to develop a deep understanding of our context and to always act effectively within it.