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.
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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.
Authentic leaders do not have a rigid view of themselves and their leadership. Becoming authentic is a developmental state that requires time and challenges, and enables leaders to switch roles, as they learn and grow from their experiences.
Authentic leaders do not burst out with whatever they may be thinking or feeling. Rather, they exhibit self-monitoring, understand how they are being perceived, and use emotional intelligence (EQ) to communicate effectively.
They make mistakes but are willing to admit their errors, learn from them and ask others for help. They are also always modest while being self-confident.
They are people of the highest integrity, committed to building enduring organizations. They have a deep sense of purpose and self-discipline, are true to their core values, dare to build their companies to meet the needs of their stakeholders, and recognize the importance of their service to society.
They understand themselves and reframe their negative experiences so they can make the most out of them and express themselves authentically in a positive manner. That’s why exploring who they are and getting honest feedback from their colleagues are essential elements of becoming authentic leaders.
George Washington was a man of exceptional integrity who carried himself with dignity and self-confidence and was excessively loved among the masses.
Whoever you’re talking to, treat them equally with respect and warmth. Little gestures like these go a long way in defining your character and impact the effectiveness of your role as a leader.
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