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The Authentic Leader

Last week, the guest speaker of SheForward shared one of her favorite quotes: “To thine own self be true…”, William Shakespeare.

This in follow-up to the question: What advice would you give a young manager beginning to develop their leadership style? Her response, be yourself, be genuine, be authentic.

I have to admit, it’s easy to veer off the path of authentic leadership. The desire to stay relevant in our professional lives drives the need for constant growth and personal development. It’s easy to lose ourselves in the “what we should be doing” and “who we should be being”.

I have 3 ideas about how to lead from the real me (and the real you):

1.Check in with clearly defined values. Think about the last time you felt some internal conflict. It’s usually a result of a something bumping heads with a core value.

2.Embrace (and not always adopt) differences in styles – just because it’s right for one doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right for another (even if it’s published in a book, presented at a conference, or found on the internet!).

3.Listen to our intuitive self. While it’s important to challenge the discomfort of change, let’s also trust our own internal “higher coach” (yes, we ALL have one).

So that’s how I feel about authentic leadership. How are you ensuring authentic leadership?

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