I’ve been teaching alot on Authentic Leadership lately – one of my favorite topics. Authentic leaders can motivate, are confident, and get results. They are also genuine and often really amazing and interesting people. Why? Because they’ve done the work and they are reaping the benefits! They know their strengths and work to them.
Here’s a quick overview and three key ways you can better understand and do the work you need to do to become a more authentic leader.
The first key to authentic leadership is knowing yourself. Most of us are not as self aware as we think we are. Consider these questions:
- What motivates you to do and say the things you do?
- Do you communicate with truth?
- Do you have the courage to say the things you need to say in a kind and respectable way?
If you can answer these “yes!” with confidence and demonstrate these qualities in your daily life, you are on the right track. If there are any areas you aren’t sure about, or know you need to work on, then think about what steps you can take to do that.
A Word about Respect
The second key is one word: Respect. Respect and authentic leadership go hand in hand. Studies show that the #1 thing employees want from their supervisors is respect. It ranks higher than pay or professional development.
Do you show respect by listening, by being kind, by not judging? Are you patient?
My third key to becoming an authentic leader is to start to practice some ways to integrate it your daily life. Here are a few ways you can start now to become a more authentic leader:
- Recognize you are an influencer – be a good role model.
- Be courageous – say what you need to say sooner than later.
- Be an encourager – look for whats going well and encourage that behavior.
- Articulate your vision – tie everything you do to your vision – figure what is your mission and vision for the work you do and live it out.
- Take an assement from those around you. Ask for colleagues and family: How am I doing? What can I do better?
Betty Lochner is a communication specialist, author, and professional speaker who teaches individuals and organizations how to make small changes that make huge differences in their relationships at work and home – improving morale, confidence and productivity. She is the author of Dancing with Strangers: Communication skills for transforming your life at work and at home and 52 Communication Tips. Both are also available on Amazon.com.