How to be an authentic leader
Published: 16 Dec 2016
Leadership is always a hot topic of conversation with my customers and throughout the business community. To be an effective leader, I believe you need to be authentic. In this article, I will discuss how you can be an authentic leader and how this will harness your team to work with you for the best results.
THE GAME FACE WILL SLIP
How often have you heard you have to leave your personal life at the door when you come to work? I get the sentiment behind it that you need to be professional when you are at work, but by suppressing people and getting them to think that they always need to come to work with game face on can result in added stress.
By allowing your employees to share if something big is going on at home and vice versa if there is something big going on for you it is important to share this so others can be mindful. It’s ok to be vulnerable, in fact I have often seen the benefit of sharing something I saw as a weakness as people can relate and will often link it to an experience they have had and be empathetic.
BE TRUE TO YOURSELF – SAYING NO
Have you ever been asked to do something that you knew wasn’t right, felt uncomfortable with or knew that deep down you didn’t want to? I certainly have, and earlier in my career I admit I definitely went along with decisions that didn’t sit well with me.
Saying no when things aren’t right is an admirable thing to do, so don’t feel trapped if someone more senior is doing something you don’t agree with. Often, you will be admired for challenging or bringing a different opinion to the table. My advice is to think of an alternative solution rather than pick apart the solution that is in front of you, consider your approach and you will often be surprised by the positive results you can achieve.
BE CLEAR ON YOUR VISION – THE WHY
If you are clear on why you do what you do and your vision, your ability to inspire your team will rapidly increase. Simon Sinek talks about “people not buying what we do, but why we do it”. If you can get clear on the why in every situation, your communication will be more passionate and people are much more likely to get on board and buy you, rather than the specific project.
The best leaders in history have had a dream, think Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King, they got an army of people to buy the big dream and how life would be better because of what they were doing. As a leader, my “why” is to inspire people to have the confidence to be the best they can be. Who needs to know your purpose for you to be authentic in your role? Don’t be scared to share it with your team, customers, family and friends. If more people were authentic about their goals, who knows what we might achieve.
Be authentically you – that’s when you will get your best results.