Authentic Leadership



I like to think about leadership in a simple yet powerful way.  Here it is: Leadership consists of what you do and who you be.

What you do.  The “what you do” side of leadership is your technical expertise and experience that you bring to your job. It’s your education, your years of experience, and the fundamental skills of your leadership role, that includes things you might see measured in a 360 like strategic thinking, communication, driving performance, and building a strong team.

Who you be. The “who you be” side of leadership is the man or woman you are as you lead others.  Are you authentic, trustworthy, of your word, someone who empowers and inspires others, make people feel valued, caring…the heart and inner side of your leadership.

Both what you do and who you be are part of an intricate toolbox that makes us effective or not as we go about our days and manage our people, our products and our lives.

I just spent the last week at the Global Institute for Leadership Development both listening to world class speakers talk about leadership and coaching some extraordinary senior leaders who come to GILD to stretch themselves in their competencies and the authentic leadership “being” aspects of themselves as leaders.

Here are a few key take aways I am inspired to think more about for myself as well as for my clients:

  • It’s all in the way you treat people that drives their behavior.
  • What are your top values and the values that drive your organization?  How well do you live these values?
  • What’s the one behavior change that will make a significant positive difference in your life?
  • I’m in the business of inspiring the human spirit to be bolder.  What business are you really in?
  •  To become more innovative friendly, reward decisions not outcomes.
  • Win like you are use to it, lost like you enjoy it!
  • Culture eats strategy for breakfast!
  • Cultural connection is what makes people feel like they are really part of your team.  How can you make people feel as if being part of whatever you are doing is just so irresistible, they can’t wait to be part of it?
  • If you package yourself or your product or service as average, that’s all it will ever be.
  •  A tribe or team of great people will be capable of doing more than you think you are capable of doing?
  • Creating meaningful work for yourself or for those you work with is not about what you do but who you are.
  • Even the thinnest paper in the world has two sides.
  • Let them see who you really are.
  • Good communication is not about the content of the message but the interpretation by the recipient. So the question then to ask is, “How do I reach your resonance chord?”

Leadership is an on going process of curiosity, growth and exploration as we dig deep into ourselves to expand and grow into what’s possible next.

Image Credit:
lightwise / 123RF Stock Photo

Facebook Twitter Email