You are not a social entrepreneur.
You are not a CEO.
You are not your role or whatever you think you are.
Roles and role titles may be useful at times to guide our work or describe it to the outside world, and indeed these role titles can feel liberating. In fact, great and effective leadership means having a healthy relationship with role.
By contrast however, there is a danger in over-identifying with roles and role titles. It can lead to misuses for power, and can eventually cause harm and be a leader’s undoing.
Many in the do-gooding space have encountered leaders who have lost their ethical footing with regards to their role. I have seen this in other leaders and I have seen it in myself. One group of people who experience this most acutely are those who have founded organisations. There is even a term called ‘founders syndrome’ to describe the effects of poor founder separation and misuses of power by those in that role.
While there are many aspects to founders syndrome, one key feature comes as an over-identification with role. For many founders, the creation of their organisation is a work of significant effort and investment. This can lead to immense pride and attachment which Read more