Being an authentic leader will help build an excellent team and help fast track change in your organization. How do you find your authentic leadership? This is a question we get asked a lot with the leaders we have been working with!
Even when you already have a winning team (or team of leaders) – something we talk about in this post: How To Inspire Change In A Winning Organization (opens in a new tab for your convenience) – being authentic is a game changer…
5 Questions to find your own authentic leadership – script
I am reading the book ‘A Second Mountain’ by David Brooks. The books asks you to listen to your life in a focused way to find your authentic leadership. Don’t look to others, don’t try to imitate other leaders that have inspired you. The problem when you do that is you kind of create a persona and sacrifice yourself a bit. This comes across inauthentic.
Firstly, you have to make a decision and decide, is it worth it? The best way is to look inside yourself, as your authentic leadership will emerge from your life.
You all have a spark inside you that can take you to leadership. You have to figure out how that gift can be used to serve others. Eventually building your life story and narrative.
Your life story is not your life,
- it’s the story of your life the people that you have met that have inspired you and have impacted you
- it’s the pivotal moments in your life that have really created who you are and created your beliefs.
After this, you build leadership principles. These are basically your values, turned into action.
I have a great example of a leader I am working with now who inspired me. This man is a Global Sales Leader, very successful and he is creating an amazing team.
He has a fascinating life story: 13 years ago he had a vision, he had a dream that he could help his autistic son have a normal life through normal schooling with the aim to have him end up in a great college in the USA. So, 13 years ago, on the first day of school, this man dropped his son at school, drove round the corner and parked up. He waited for the first phone call to come in. A year ago, 12 years later he started back at work. And was there for his son every day. He educated himself on autism, then educated the school system on how to educate his son. And now his son has had that experience, he is confidently starting his college right now.
This has created this mans leadership story and narrative. When you see him now, he is always learning and tries to better himself. He invests in his people and their learning.
You can see they are inspired by those actions because he thinks big and he has a vision. Furthermore, he always involves everyone in that vision and crowd sources strategy with his people. He also wants to do the right thing, this has become apart of his value system. So, whenever he makes a decision for his business, he thinks about how this will benefit the wider company and his customers.
He puts others first, he gives awards and does not take awards. So, what he has learnt from this experience has now come through in the way that he leads – and this works for him.
So, my advice to you is find somewhere quiet and start to see what comes into your mind when you have nothing else going on and I want you to answer 5 questions. I did this about 2 years ago. I drove 12,000 miles across America with no cellphone, no radio and just waited to see what came into my head. So, find somewhere quiet and try answer these questions:
- Who are the people and what are the moments in your life that have formed who you are today? .
- What is it that you really do believe in and hold sacred?
- What tools are you using to be super self aware? (Authentic leaders are grounded in self awareness)
- Do you measure yourself extrinsically or intrinsically? Is it the rewards, the house, the car or is it the meaning of life and making the world a better place for you?
- Have you created a team around you that can hold you accountable and keep you on track for being an authentic leader?
Please comment below and let us know your thoughts or let us know your authentic leadership story
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