Wouldn’t it be great if everyone was honest and transparent, willing to say what they mean and meaning what they say? It’s an age-old problem. Leaders with the ability to be authentic are sought after – but hard to find.
In every workplace, every station of life, people just want to be able to confidently follow those in authority. Yet, time and time again, we’re genuinely disappointed to find that those in leadership are not who we thought they were.
What Does Being Authentic Really Mean?
Maybe it wouldn’t be so hard to find authentic leadership if those in management positions were doing what they genuinely love to do. For some owners and CEOs, the daily grind of the job may have slowly overshadowed their true personality. Others may find themselves unwillingly managing, the unwelcome result of unexpected events or unfortunate circumstances. Of course, there will always be those in leadership because they seek notoriety, relying on the position to provide their identity.
Be honest with yourself.
- What attributes make you authentic?
- Do you come across as real to others?
- Are you the type of person others easily look to as a leader in your field?
- Are they able to readily give you their respect due to your honesty and openness?
Does What You Do Reflect Who You Genuinely Are?
If you want to lead with impact, you must be genuine. Your behavior must be consistent both inside and outside the workplace. If it’s not, you can be sure that it won’t be long until you’re found out and dismissed as a phony by those under your leadership.
Here are seven attributes that will help identify you as a genuine leader.
- Compassionate. Possessing compassion doesn’t make you look weak, it strengthens relationships. Compassion for what others are experiencing builds mutual respect.
- Your confidence in decision-making allows your team members to have confidence in your leadership. Take the time to weigh your decisions and include the input of others in the process. Your employees want to be able to trust that you are hearing from them, that you have their best interest at heart, and that you won’t back down or bow to peer pressure during difficult decisions.
- Opinions come and go, and they are a dime a dozen. Genuine convictions, on the other hand, are worth fighting for. Lead with the courage that will inspire others by consistently and confidently taking a stand, being true to yourself, and fighting for what you believe in.
- Cooperative. Making yourself available to answer questions and assist those struggling with specific tasks will encourage co-workers to seek your guidance and problem-solving expertise. A boss or manager is easily viewed as trustworthy when they take the time to cultivate relationships and collaborate to find beneficial solutions in the workplace.
- Managers who routinely lose their tempers on co-workers are seen as unapproachable. Create a more comfortable, healthier environment by remaining calmly in control of yourself and situations. A calm influence is always appreciated.
- Those who gossip are not building relationships – they’re building walls. Talking about members of the team behind their backs breeds disrespect. Consideration for every member of your team allows them to as their leader.
- Be excellent at communicating with others and you will earn the respect you desire. Listen well. Pursue clarity. Use the most effective tools. Be respectful.
Authentic people are refreshing to be around, but the truth is – they are still people. And real people are not perfect people! Accepting your imperfections is a genuinely good place to start on your way to becoming the authentic leader you want to be.
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