A. Authentic Leadership
adj. AUTHENTIC: not false or copied; genuine; real; reliable; trustworthy; having the origin supported by unquestionable evidence; entitled to acceptance or belief because of agreement with known facts or experience; authenticated; verified.1
When we speak the seed of value over the lives we are entrusted with, a root of quiet confidence begins its journey of conviction into the battlefield of the mind. The seed is watered, valiantly breaking new ground in the face of discouragement and word storms. The leader emerges to stand not in the shadows cast by others, but rather to turn her own face to the sun, certain of her place in the world.
– Tarran Deane
Just Who Are You?
The rise of social media has led to a shifting of real and perceived authenticity. People post with certain filters. They’re now able to tag the topic and context of their post in their personal profiles. As workplaces are increasingly disrupted by automation and shifting goal posts, the leader who has a clear sense of his or her identity and is able to articulate it with word and deed.
As a compelling leader, you can inspire your team, tribe or community by providing opportunities to others to:
- understand individual strengths and inspire personal accountability
- promote unity and share the vision
- require peak performance and set clear expectations
- rejoice in the outcomes
- honour the role of family in the life of the team.
Strip Back the Layers
It takes significant courage to lead from a clearly-stated values position in mainstream organisations. Those who do set themselves apart from the competition are fine with knowing they risk polarising some folks at work and in their target market.
So, get your brave on. Step into a higher level of personal satisfaction. Encourage your people to identify their values and take responsibility to genuinely declare the company principles or values as ‘this is how we do things around here’. is possible to be a compelling leader who has a clear vision whether you wear a pair of jeans or a pin-striped suit. It is less about what you wear and more about the vision you sow and the difference you’ll make.
Is it possible to be a compelling authentic leader who has a clear vision whether you wear a pair of jeans or a pin-striped suit? It is less about what you wear and more about the vision you sow and the difference you’ll make. Like walking your talk.
This takes time. I’ve read excerpts from The Four-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss2 and thought at the time that every workplace has its own context. There’s no way I could have cut down my executive hours working in Human Services.
Authentic Leadership doesn’t demand you throw in the towel and join a start-up or ridicule policies and procedures that are their for your protection and quality outcomes for the business. If you try to fake who you are or your preferred work style, then you may well live on coupons and go around the mountain a few more times before you realise that:
- work is a noble pursuit and you don’t have to leave your job to be entrepreneurial
- you may not have to leave your own business and ‘get a real job’ either
- to serve in the shadows can be more rewarding and influential than being in the spotlight
- relationships matter – it is important to be kind to one another, set clear boundaries and expect more of each other and yourself.
Wouldn’t life be easier if everyone on your team kindly respected each other’s differences and yet came together under ONE Vision? Let’s help you to help them be the best version of themselves. Buy Tarran’s book “The Alphabet Principle: Your A-Z Guide to Being a Compelling Leader” here and we’ll send it right to you!
What’s the Alternative?
Often we need someone close to us or with an objective viewpoint who can challenge us if it looks like we’re ‘faking it’ or self-sabotaging. Blind spots, unconscious bias, lack of personal accountability and a readiness to blame are incredibly short-sighted and could exacerbate tensions with family and work colleagues.
If we’re afraid to pull back the layers and shy away from encouraging our people to do the same, then we may begin to see an increase in:
- workplace conflicts
- disengaged personnel
- individual burnouts and mental health issues
- loss of credibility and influence
- loss of intellectual property
- union involvement
- lack of succession planning
- loss of top talent.
Trust through Transparency and Track Record
The case is strong. You’re most compelling as a leader when you’re comfortable in your own skin and committed to learning, giving your best, bringing others on the journey with you, honouring commitments and keeping the lines of communication open.
Your life experience within your community, current industry or volunteer service will continue to shape you. Spend time to reflect on your achievements and celebrate the person you have become. Encourage yourself and be mindful that the person you become in pursuit of a goal is often as important as the goal itself.
Your team will be watching. Sometimes, it will seem like the whole world is watching how you move and respond to changes and confrontations. A lousy attitude hurts your health and limits your opportunities.
If you want to go far and go together, then navigate the tension of likeability while embracing the principle of ‘It’s none of my business what other people think of me’. Your language expresses a confidence of personal conviction and teachability, leading from a position of boldness and humility.
Vision – What Are You Aiming For?
Our values become clearer when we’ve come face to face with what we don’t want. Over time, were confronted with the opportunity to become better or bitter. Compelling leaders choose to become better, to develop a thirst for finding the good in other people, to pursue a cause greater than themselves and to delight in the simple things. See chapter V. – Vision.
Serving One Another – Become Better at It
If I am ever stuck or become increasingly tired and forget who I am and what I’m meant to be doing, then I am too busy in my ‘doing’.
Personally, I get on my knees and read the Good Book. I spend a bit of time reading my favourite passages of the Bible, listening to worship music and recharging my soul and gaining a fresh perspective on the challenges at hand.
Your Authenticity Checklist
Here are a few questions to ask yourself. Oh, and they’re great questions to use when you’re coaching a direct report as well.
- What makes you happy or sad?
- What ticks you off or inspires you?
- How do you like to process information?
- How do you like to connect with people?
- Close your eyes and reflect on the company you Are those people encouraging you to be a better person, personally and professionally?
- Do you understand why you like to work the way you do? Consider undertaking a work-preference style assessment with an accredited facilitator so you can gain a deeper understanding.3
- Watch the old movie Runaway Bride and ask yourself, How do I really like my eggs? What sort of woman am I? What kind of man am I? What can I do better? Do I use banter in a harmful manner that erodes another person’s confidence?
- Create a Timeline of Events and update it Record the date and the nature of your feelings about various key events in your life and the lessons learned.
You can no longer justify yourself by saying, ‘It’s just the way I am!’ or ‘This happened to me when I was younger.’
If you are self-righteous, rude, have a problem dealing with anger and avoid taking responsibility for yourself, then your time is up. You’ve been outed. Get help from your local doctor, healthcare professional or career coach.
Real Leaders understand the impact they have and are wisely responsible AND Authentic.
Be the real version of you on your best day.
That’s Authentic Leadership.
- Dictionary.com, Authentic, http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/authentic
- The 4-Hour Workweek, http://fourhourworkweek.com/
- Visit http://www.tarrandeane.com and work with us!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tarran Deane is the Author of “The Alphabet Principle ~ Your A-Z Guide to Being a Compelling Leader, for Real Life@Work”. With executive and leadership experience, covering more than 41,000 hours, across human services, non profits, workforce planning, associations and peak bodies, along with banking and tourism, Tarran has spoken at conferences and events in Australia, New Zealand, Asia and the United States on strategic and operational elements of Leadership, Communication, Change Management, Diversity, Inclusion and Workforce Engagement.
As a wife, mum & step-mum, Tarran loves the tapestry of family life and recharges by serving others, chilling out and racing her Ducati 800 Monster through the hills of Northern NSW.