The Many Colours of Leadership

Kat Baddeley, CEO reflects on the different aspects of leadership through colour

In this month’s blog I’m reflecting on colours and how different colours evoke certain feelings and how they can be attributed to many aspects of leadership. What leadership behaviours and feelings do the colours Red, Blue, Green and Gold evoke?
Red is the colour of fire and blood and reminds me of strength, power, determination, energy, danger as well as passion and love. It has the ability to evoke a lot of feelings and behaviours. Red gave me the strength and determination last week when a number of events occurred that made me question my role and my ability to deliver on our key objectives. I have always had a strong ‘bias for action’ which can be a strength but also a weakness. Whilst I am conscious of this sometimes my determination, passion and desire to complete a task has a detrimental effect on others.

There are times when my confidence wanes as was the case last week when trying to regain my mojo for a particular task that is not only important to our organisation but to our members as well. Confidence is associated with the colour blue. Blue being the colour of the sky and sea is often associated with depth and stability. It denotes trust, loyalty, wisdom and confidence. When your confidence is waning on a particular task you sometimes cannot see the other side of the lake and so the task almost feels like you are rowing in a canoe with one oar. So rather than dwell on my lack of confidence I had the wisdom to organise a meeting with my coach on this particular task so we could re-frame the task and get my mojo back. That’s not to say I did not beat myself up over this on a number of occasions, there goes my strong bias for action again, but now that I have my confidence back I have a new found respect for the task at hand and importantly I’ve solicited the help of others to achieve the objective after all ‘a job shared, is a job halved.’

We’ve all heard the saying ‘Green with Envy’ and there are times as a leader you see the green eyed monster raise its ugly head amongst colleagues, friends and family members. I’m not immune to these feelings but as a leader I need to be conscious of how I react and whether my ability to move on quickly when these envious feelings occur as well as providing feedback, coaching and mentoring to others when I observe these behaviours. But green can also remind you of harmony, which can conjure up a sense of emotional healing and protection, one feels at peace when surrounded by nature as such when I am feeling the need for some harmony in my life and walk in a park or forest is just the ticket.

Finally, I would like to move on to yellow and gold. Yellow is associated with joy, happiness, intellect and energy, gold evokes a feeling of illumination as well as wisdom. These colours make me feel warm, fresh and joyful. Let me summarise the events that made me feel the colour yellow or gold:

  • Feeling very euphoric when our first ticket was sold for the Regional Leadership Summit;
  • Experienced the joy of learning and expanding my networks when attending a conference in Canberra that grew my member engagement knowledge and magnified my ability to ‘make our pitch to stakeholders’;
  • Overjoyed when feedback was provided on the graphics for the Regional Leadership Summit; and
  • Honoured to have been invited to attend the 2015/16 Alpine Valleys Community Leadership Program graduation in Wangaratta.

Just like a rainbow which has many colours that are visible at all times, as a leader we can experience many colours in one day. I would like to end by saying that as a leader gold evokes a feeling of illumination appreciation and purpose and who doesn’t want that in their lives?

Until next time

“May your rainbow be brightly coloured and may your colours be interchangeable”

Kat Baddeley

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