YOU & AUTHENTIC LEADERSHIP

This one of those trendy management phrases that people bandy around. In fact, I even got approached around 3 months ago by one of our leading management schools to talk about it. The interesting thing about this topic is you can’t get it from the how-to-do-management shelf at Smiths, nor can you really be taught it, because it is all about who you are. It comes from within and is an expression of you; this is why people value it so highly, it is rare and precious, because so few of us feel safe showing this side of ourselves (and the side I am referring to is the inside!) to the world, and least of all at work.

We are acting authentically when we are aligned with our core beliefs and values, when we are expressing our truths fully, when we are guided by our deep intuitions and not driven by fear, in short, when we are being real. It is the very opposite of the George Burns quote “…Sincerity, if you can fake that, you’ve got it made!” because you can’t buy this stuff.

The trouble is most of us grow up learning to hide parts of ourselves because we fear they are not acceptable, not to follow our inner voice because we’re told “it is stupid”, and we know that the world of work is not a safe place. However, there is great power and potential in daring to buck this trend, because when we learn to express these parts of ourselves not only do we remove stress, but we also stop getting in our own ways.

I was told recently that my mission in this life was to express myself in this way, to show the world who I am (as opposed to trying to be the person I thought they wanted me to be). I have been slowly working at this, trying to peel away the layers and let the light out and what do you know… it seems to be working! The more risks I take in this arena, the more (all be they tiny) thumbs-up I get from the Universe.

So my challenge to you today is this, have a go! At least once today express what you really feel rather than a polite version of it, do what you truly want rather than what you feel you ought to, line yourself up with you inner voice and see how it feels. If you like it, well, who knows, you could try it again tomorrow, then where would we all be? Walking around surrounded by ‘real’ people… could we cope?! Good Luck and let me now how you get on.

“Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom.  If you don’t live it, it won’t come out your horn.” Charlie Parker

“Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable. Be honest and transparent anyway.” Mother Theresa

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