Andrew Pearce is the managing director of Accenture Operations in UK & Ireland. Recently we connected with him and here’s his advice on embracing leadership, regardless of the position you are in, in your career and life.
Leadership as a general principle can feel like a burden, if we let it. BYP is all about promoting leadership but we understand that for many, it can be a hard thing to get your head around when you are advancing up the ladder (or trying to get on the ladder in the first place).
There are various coping mechanisms which can help you traverse the idea of leadership better, which were discussed on the BYP’s ‘Why Not Lead’ Podcast with Andrew Pearce.
Embrace your authenticity
Andrew stresses the importance of always being authentic wherever you go. Remember that people can be as good as you but no one can be better, which is a key idea when you think about your workplace and dealing with colleagues and teammates. Feeling comfortable with yourself at work is just understanding that no one at your workplace is your superior, you just have people that manage you.
Being true to yourself can be a challenge but know that the feeling of needing to fit in and be like everyone else is dated. Being comfortable with who you are is the way forward, which might be uncomfortable but the pain is a key part to work through when it comes to your growth as a leader. In Andrew’s case, coming to terms with being the only black child in his area was critical to being comfortable in himself and thus contributed to his success today.
Keep sight of the vision
Your vision is critical because that is what keeps you going. For many, making the road easier for those that follow is what allows them to stay on their path. Believing that you need to make it easier for the people that come after you is important because this singular thinking alone is empowering when it comes to being a voice for others.
Do not be afraid to use your voice out of fear of being seen as ‘militant’, if you do not use your voice to speak about inequality (race, gender or otherwise) because of the position that you are in, then how do you expect others to do the same?
Understanding that where you are at now isn’t important
People might feel that they need to be on a certain level in life before they can be in a position where they can give back to others younger than them, however this is a fallacy that you must break as you must know that now as you currently are, you are embodying leadership. Think about the people in your community that haven’t had the same start that you’ve had. You are a role model because of what you are doing to make a difference. You do not need to be at a senior level to make an impact.
Never underestimate the impact you can have right now on someone’s engagement and self-belief simply by having a conversation with them- in your workplace, in your career and in your community because above all, we are a community. At all levels there a micro and macro aggressions and especially in corporate environments there are. This is why it is on us to change this and make it a better situation for those after us.