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You’ve no doubt heard the warning that employees frequently resign because of bad bosses, not bad companies. This may seem like a scary warning until you consider that the reverse is true. A full 56% of professionals would say no to a modest pay raise to keep working under a strong manager.
The question isn’t as tough to answer as it might seem at first blush. The most well-respected founders, CEOs, and supervisors tend to share some distinct qualities.
Here are some of those commonalities as well as methods for you to adopt them into your leadership style.
To avoid sending mixed messages to colleagues and spurring their mistrust, write down at least five things you value. They could be anything from honesty and humour to spirituality and selflessness.
At the end of each day, rate yourself on how well you practised your values. Were you true to them? Remember that what makes an authentic leader is being true to yourself, even when you don’t like the answers.
Many people hold onto the notion that you have to be tough as nails if you’re in charge. To be sure, a “line in the sand” attitude can be helpful in some situations.
Can it be challenging to admit to others that you need their help or insights? Is it hard to acknowledge that you’ve made the wrong choice or that you’re feeling worried about the future? Of course. You’re human.
Still, leading with your humanity instead of trying to be an omniscient ruler is what makes an authentic leader. Walking around with your “guard up” all the time limits the bonds you could be forging with team members.
Some of the world’s most recognized business and political figures are voracious readers. Why? They realize that reading helps you become a better communicator, speaker, and goal-setter.
Do you set aside time for learning? Even if you’re not someone who’s apt to pick up a book every night, you can still listen to podcasts or audible books. Or, you could sign up for a self-directed course to make personal discoveries and build your professional acumen.
In time, you may even want to launch a company-backed book club to foster camaraderie, collaboration, and innovation.
Leaders who listen because they have to are more interested in making the problem go away. But leaders who listen because they want to are genuinely interested in helping their employees. Why? Helping someone solve an issue can be beneficial in the long run. After all, you might encounter a similar problem later.
There’s no doubt that it can be hard to calm your mind and focus your attention when team members need your ear. Research shows that most people forget half of what they hear only moments after they hear it.
More than three-quarters of professionals admit that they’ve experienced burnout. As a leader, you can’t afford to allow yourself to get to the stage of true burnout. If you do, you won’t be effective and you may end up hurting your organization. This means you need to be like other strong leaders and make time for yourself.
Several fantastic outcomes will happen when you begin to prioritize your health and wellness. According to studies, you’ll sleep better and feel more relaxed, which will allow you to absorb information more easily.
Now that you know what makes an authentic leader, you can start to work on new characteristics and behaviours in your everyday life.
In time and with effort, you’ll become a more trustworthy, reliable leader. And you’ll have an incredibly devoted, engaged team to prove that you’re on the right path.
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