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An oversimplified understanding of what it means to be transparent can prevent your growth and limit your influence. When we feel out of our comfort zone, we can often use authenticity as an excuse for sticking with what's comfortable.
For example, a promotion into a leadership role can leave you feeling unsure of yourself. If you believe in superficial transparency, you may disclose all your insecurities to your company, and in the process, lose credibility with people.
There are two ways in which leaders develop their personal styles:
Leadership growth usually means shifting from having good ideas to pitching them to diverse stakeholders. Inexperienced leaders, especially true-to-selfers, often find the process of getting buy-in artificial and political because they think their work should stand on its own merits.
Until we see growth as a way of extending our reach and increasing our impact, we will have trouble feeling authentic when expressing our strengths to influential people.
Negative feedback given to leaders is often about style and not about their skills or expertise. Negative feedback can then feel like a threat to their ability.
However, if they rationalize their behaviour and think their style is unchangeable, it may eventually lead to their undoing.
Without the benefit of an external perspective we get from experimenting with new leadership behaviours, habitual patterns of thought fence us in.
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Leadership has to do with who we are as human beings and the forces that shaped us. Style is the outward manifestation of one’s authentic leadership.
Authentic leaders must adapt their styles to fit the situation and capabilities of their teammates.
You can’t pretend to be an authentic leader for long because people will eventually sense the lack of authenticity, and ultimately you will not gain the trust of your teammates.
If you are real and genuine people will see you as trustworthy and willing to learn, they will respond positively to requests for help in getting through difficult times.
Is a management style in which leaders are genuine, self-aware, and transparent.
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Authentic leaders focus on the long term. They realize that nurturing individuals and a company requires hard work and patience, but the approach pays large dividends over time.
Authentic leaders are not afraid to show their emotions, their vulnerability and to connect with their employees. They understand it doesn’t make them “soft” and that communicating in a direct but empathetic manner is critical to successful outcomes.
Authentic leaders are able to put the mission and the goals of the organization ahead of their own self-interest. They do the job in pursuit of results.