This week has been a whirlwind of lessons in authenticity. Observing and pondering conversations and circumstances through my Strengths Intelligence lens has reminded, me once again, how very different our individual common sense is because it is informed by our unique Strengths. When I step back from a situation and attempt to understand it through another’s common sense I notice that I feel more compassionate and I extend grace.
Knowing and executing my core is my guide in times of discernment and my compass in leading a principled life. Though, it’s not always easy. In my human messiness I take things personally and I want to defend myself. In my reactivity, I am leading from the outside in which is not how I want to authentically be. To lead from the inside out, I need to set aside time to reflect and be vulnerable, engaging in conversations with trusted confidants who lovingly challenge how I am seeing situations call me to be in alignment with the principled person I want to be. Sometimes it takes courage to be authentically me.
This is part 4 in the 5-part series on Becoming an Authentic Leader by Diana Gabriel, Certified Strengths Strategy Coach.Principled character, exhibited without fail, is the anchor of authenticity. Click To Tweet
Are you coming across as a truly credible authentic leader? For one thing, people don’t believe you when you exhibit incongruent behaviors. If you show flexible principles in one arena, you are not going to be perceived as 100% principled in others. Being congruent, inwardly and outwardly, avoids this potential slippery slope.
Be the real you. The most crucial form of genuineness is to be fully aligned with your core – this conveys authenticity. Trying to fake authenticity is deceptive and eventually evident to all. People are not fooled for long. They will question and distrust inconsistencies. With each small inconsistency, trust is eroded. A healthy self-awareness of your core values, Strengths and purpose is foundational for authenticity – for leading from the inside out. The truth of who you are is transparent to those around you, it’s not something you can hide. Your people want you to be a principled person and leader that they can rely on.
Consistency in authentic genuineness builds your credibility. Your people know what to expect day in and day out, through the good and the tough times. Great leaders are mindful of this. Becoming self-aware you intuitively and proactively discern the high road and take it, with ethical motives. Principled character, exhibited without fail, is the anchor of authenticity that you need to weather any storm.
Vulnerability and candor are also critical. Honesty shouldn’t be the best policy; it should be the only policy. When you are caught being inauthentic, you inflict damage to yourself and those around you. A quick glance at today’s headlines should serve as a brisk confirmation. Nothing builds barricades faster than a leader who tries to deceive. Truthfulness is a pillar your culture cannot be without, so lead with it.
Exercise judgment when truth must be guarded. Confidentiality is required for credibility. Sensitive, personal or private information must be handled carefully and discreetly. Don’t jump to conclusions or make decisions based on assumptions or rumors. Once inappropriate things are said or misinformation falls into the wrong hands, it cannot be retracted. Tension will soar and credibility will plummet.
Credible trusted leaders avoid these kinds of risks. You need to use professional language with the proper sensitivities, cautions, and accuracies. This doesn’t mean there can’t be light or even humorous moments, but they shouldn’t be careless or reckless.
Do you know your core values, Strengths and purpose? What does it take to practice vulnerability and principled leadership? I’d love to hear about it. You can reach me here, on LinkedIn, or give me a call.