Identical twins actually aren’t

Photo of a chess pawn, half black, half white, on a white backgroundIdentical twins: two children created from a single egg fertilized by a single sperm, and therefore with identical DNA.

Know any? Maybe you are one?

We’ve all seen stories about identical twins playing pranks on people who can’t tell them apart, or even how identical twins separated at birth appear to have remarkably similar lives.


Did you know that identical twins, even at the moment of birth, actually aren’t identical?

Yes. Even as just-born infants, there are noticeable, real differences, arising from differences in their experience in the womb.

And for every “oh, their lives are so similar” story, there are many more about how dissimilar “identical” twins are from each other.

Why am I telling you this in an article about management and leadership?

Because every person – even an identical twin – is unique.

And that means that every expression of leadership is unique to the individual manager and leader.

When we attempt to deny this individuality through rigorous “best practices” of leadership, or by expecting anyone to learn – and adhere to – specific management and leadership behaviors, we create problems, to say the least.

Asking someone to “do leadership” according to rules that don’t fit who they are or how they best interact with others is unfair, unkind, unhelpful, and unlikely to create success.

Teaching fledgling managers the skills of leadership is essential.

Expecting them to use those skills exactly as taught, exactly as you might expect (or even as they might expect!), exactly as the textbooks or rulebooks say – is futile and, frankly, ridiculous.

Allow people to be people. Help your managers learn, and then give them the freedom to adapt what they learn to their own ways of being and doing.

Everyone will have much more fun and will be much more successful.

Teaching leadership skills to fledgling managers doesn’t have to be expensive, time-consuming, or “just up to them” to learn. Click here to learn more.