Becoming the Authentic Leader
Your People Need

As we think about and talk about leading from the inside out we see that when leader, like you, slow down enough to focus on what it means and what it takes to lead from the inside out you become more authentic. When what you say, how you say it and the actions you take are aligned with your core self – are integrated – you are more trust worthy.

Personally, I’ve found diving deep into the Strengths Strategy model over the past few years has accelerated my path to feeling confident in my authenticity. I’ve had many revelations about why I do what I do and what is needed to focus my Strengths in order to have the impact that I hope to have. Intentionally practicing Interdependence through Confident Vulnerability has been liberating and deeply fulfilling.

Over the next few weeks, we will be examining paths to being an Authentic Leader.

This is part 1 in the 5-part series on Becoming an Authentic Leader by Diana Gabriel, Certified Strengths Strategy Coach.

Leader, Inside Out, Authentic, Trust, Hope, Vision, Assurance, Compassion, Well-being, Self-aware, Respect, Connect, Credibility, Strengths, Strengths Based Leadership, StrengthsFinder, Leadership Coach

The most authentic leaders undergo continual self-assessment and behavior modification. Click To Tweet

Do you know if you are the authentic leader your people need you to be? Or, are you one of the many leaders who are unaware of how your lack of authenticity chips away at people, breeding dissatisfaction, distrust, and disloyalty. Organizational effectiveness and productivity suffer when your people view you as inauthentic.

One out of three people distrusts his or her employer, according to the 2017 Edelman “Trust Barometer.” Four out of five don’t see authenticity in their leader’s performance. Only 20% of leaders come across as genuine. The other 80% risk handicapping their organizations with insufficient influence, poor worker engagement, and ultimately, disappointing corporate results. These should be disturbing statistics.

My experience working with organizations leads me to believe that people want to be led by authentic leaders they can trust. They want their leaders to create hope and have a vision for where they are going. In that vision, they look for assurance that their best interests are important, that they are compassionate and that their future is in safe hands. They need to believe their leaders will make sound, effective decisions protecting their security. Inauthentic leaders destroy employee confidence.

What’s the Real Deal?
For employees, authenticity is an emotionally vital state of well-being – one that heavily relies on a leader’s consistent trueness, explains consultant Karissa Thacker in The Art of Authenticity (Wiley, 2016). I agree with the author that leaders need to recognize this principle as irrefutable to enhance interdependence. The most authentic leaders undergo continual self-assessment and modify habitual behaviors into authentic behaviors.

It’s too simplistic to presume that authenticity could be created in five easy steps, but there’s no doubt that becoming more authentic encompasses several key leadership mandates:

1. Being self-aware
2. Earning respect
3. Connecting
4. Conveying credibility
5. Earning trust

Successful authentic leaders, like yourself, optimize each of these behaviors to develop your character and broaden your influence. What do you notice in your workplace? Are you paying attention to ways you can build authenticity in your leadership? What are you focusing on? I’d love to hear about it. You can reach me here, on LinkedIn, or give me a call.


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