Being an Authentic Leader

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

Our Leadership/Management Development Programme encourages managers and leaders to reflect on what it’s like to be led by them. Are they being true to themselves or trying to be something they are not? Will people be prepared to follow their leadership or rebel against it? Leaders can provide the vision, energy and strategic direction of the business, but without winning the hearts and minds of the people it will be far more challenging to excel and deliver business results.

Goffee and Jones present four additional qualities, in addition to vision, energy, authority and strategic direction, to become more authentic in leadership, engaging and inspiring the team by winning hearts and minds. Let’s look at each one in turn.

Selectively show your weaknesses

Nobody wants a perfect leader, they don’t appear to need help. Besides…who’s perfect?

We often hear leaders saying “one day I’m going to get rumbled”! What is wrong with showing you’re human?

Challenge – What weakness would you be comfortable sharing?

Become a sensor

What do you hear, see, feel? What is this information telling you? Use your intuition and trust your instincts. To do this, you need to hone your ability to be present, listen and understand what is happening, what is being said but also what is not being said. It’s about collecting and interpreting subtle clues, detecting what’s going on without others spelling it out.

Challenge – How often do you take the time out to pick up on this rich information?

Practice tough empathy

This is about respecting the individual whilst balancing respect for the task at hand. Leaders empathize fiercely with their followers and care intensely, even passionately about their peoples’ work. They’re also empathetically tough. This means giving people not necessarily what they want, but what they need to achieve their best. This could include giving feedback and making tough calls.

Challenge – Are you having honest conversations?

Dare to be different

Capitalizing on what’s unique about YOU. Doing this lets you signal your separateness as a leader but also motivates others to perform better, encouraging people to take risks and be different. There are ways you can display uniqueness, through qualities like imagination, expertise and adventure.

Challenge – what’s unique about YOU?

Remember, Goffee and Jones still believe leaders need vision, energy, authority and strategic direction, but to be a truly inspirational leader you should – Be yourself – more – with skill.

Our Leadership/Management Development Programme focusses on being authentic, so if you want to be yourself, more, with skill why not book on the programme today. It could be your game changer!

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