It was a late Friday afternoon in July on a gloomy mid-winters day in Melbourne. Following a full week of delivering workshops, a delirious Renée and Shelley happened to catch each other over the phone. It is rare for these two to actually speak in real-time without the standard back-and-forth missed calls and voicemails.

These calls are few and far between, and business owners out there, would appreciate the value of such conversations – given how lonely running your own business can sometimes be (takes a sip).  On this particular occasion, the mood was light and playful and slightly disturbing…to the point in fact,…that we feel compelled to share our conversation.

Both Renée and Shelley are passionate about contributing to the performance of leaders, teams and organisations, and above all, they love to have fun, on and off the job. Finishing a big week, they started discussing the different leadership programs they are running. With a glass of vino in mind, being late Friday, it occurred to them that many of us at one time or another can default to exuding certain characteristics many of us associate with beverages.

Renee and ShelleySo, this is what we discovered, and keep in mind that each alcoholic beverage we added to the menu represents a behaviour, not the actual person…and of course, we’re being rather tongue-in-cheek.

Take a moment to reflect (in the mirror behind the shelf) where you sit at any one time. Also, reflect what shelf you aspire to sit on in the future.

Bottom shelf

  • Tequila shots: The transactional leader who’s a little impulsive and a short-term thinker. What feels like fun in the moment often leads to regret afterwards.
  • Vodka & Raspberry premix drink: This ready-to-drink leader gravitates immediately to what’s easiest and is just focused on getting the job done.
  • Beer in a can – This leader isn’t generally the first choice but is highly accessible and affordable for most as a starting point.

Middle shelf

  • Red wine: The leader that understands the importance of slowing down, taking time to breathe and really allowing their complexities to be experienced.
  • Gin & tonic: This leader amplifies the moods of others, both negative and positive. They mean well but aren’t great at identifying the emotions of others which can sometimes lead to unintended consequences.
  • Surprise me cocktail: The leader that’s constantly changing and while capable of delivering a great experience often deters others because of their inconsistency.

Top shelf

  • Reserve red wine: This leader is slow and considered always exploring ways to get better and absolutely improves with age.
  • Single malt whiskey: Everything about this leader exudes quality and excellence. They’re warming and not afraid to stand out where the situation calls for it.
  • Espresso Martini – The leader who is there when you need a hit of energy and capable of changing the mood of a whole room. They’re great at delivering desired results yet still know how to have fun.

In the cupboard

  • Absinthe – The leader that draws you in, but you can’t ever recall the specific impact they had.

It’s funny how over time as our palates evolve and different drinks and foods we loved can become unsatisfying and not serve us anymore. As we move through our leadership journey, the transactional style (e.g. shots) may not be enough to deliver sustained change and transformation. When we first experience alcohol, it’s all about the immediate effect it has on us. As our palate develops (and we get older) it becomes less about the immediate effect and more about the overall experience.

The only remaining thought is…the morning after effects of your leadership style.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

Renée & Shelley

Renee Giarrussso Director RG Dynamics Pty Limited Limited LeadershipIf this article has resonated with you in any way – I’d love to hear your thoughts – get in touch. .  Being in service to my clients is why I do what I do, and your feedback, insight, and suggestions are always embraced.

Find out where you sit on the Leadership Ladder, your responses are anonymous, and the results summarised to help us better understand where our market sits so that we can continue to provide, insights, tools and solutions to assist you to move up to be LIMITLESS, co-creative and stand out.

Renée is a mentor, coach, expert facilitator and keynote speaker. She is the author of ‘Limitless Leadership’ and co-author of ‘Leaders of Influence’.

Follow Renee on FacebookInstagramIGTV or Twitter, or subscribe to her podcast on Apple Podcast, Apple Overcast, SpotifyAndroid or your favourite app.