blog feature - leadership identity

The Missing Piece from the Leadership Conversation

Leonie Cutts

What does leadership mean to you?

In a week where leadership has been top of mind for many people, we discussed the definition of leadership with Suzi Skinner, founder of Roar People and leadership researcher and coach. The definition you hold of leadership is important because it will inform how you see yourself as a leader, how you lead and how you help others to do the same. Here is Suzi’s simple and accessible leadership definition that, I believe, can help us all to thrive:

Leadership is having a positive influence on others

Suzi Skinner

What would it mean to you if you embraced this definition of leadership? 

What would it mean for your team, your organisation? For our communities? Our country?

I have worked with Suzi for over four years, facilitating and coaching people on the concept of Leader Identity. The first important step is to rethink the definition of what a leader is – that it’s not tied to a title or position – but is about who you are being. This is not something that is widely talked about or explored – and is a key piece to effective leadership.



Research is now showing us that having a clear idea of who you are being and defining your Leader Identity, accelerates leadership effectiveness. When we are really clear about who we are as a leader, we are more likely to show up in a consistent and authentic way.

A simple way to start thinking about this is to think about your last 24 hours and the people you interacted with. How would they describe you?  How did you show up?

Identity is about showing up in a way that is consistent and beautifully authentic to you

Suzi Skinner

Leadership is a word that is loaded with assumptions and ideals. Using CCS Cards to help explore and reflect can help you to go deeper and become clearer about your own definition of leadership. It is a great way to begin defining your unique Leader Identity.

Try these 3 topics and questions to begin defining your own unique Leader Identity (with or without your CCS Cards):

  • Describe what leadership means to you
  • Think of someone who knows and loves you. Take a moment to go through your pack and find 5 cards to show how you believe they would describe you
  • What matters most? Go through your pack and find 5 cards that for you would best describe what matters most to you.

Intrigued to explore more about leader identity? You can hear Suzi’s podcast here.

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Leonie Cutts

Co-founder of CCS Corporation, co-developer of the CCS, facilitator and coach. Leonie is passionate about bringing people together for connection and growth in both their personal and professional lives.