What does it mean to be an authentic leader? Many people think of authenticity as being genuine and true to oneself, but there’s more to it than that. Authentic leadership is about creating a connection with others, engaging them in a meaningful way, and inspiring them to achieve great things. Here are seven ways to get started if you’re looking to grow your authentic leadership skills.
1. Be clear about your values and what is important to you
The first step in being an authentic leader is knowing what you stand for. What are your core values? What do you believe in? When you’re clear about your values, it’s easier to make decisions that align with them and communicate them to others. Authentic leaders are clear about their values and what is important to them. They know what they stand for and are authentic in their words and actions. This clarity allows them to inspire trust in others and build relationships of mutual respect.
2. Be self-aware and honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses
No one is perfect, and authentic leaders know that. One of the most important things you can do as an authentic leader is to be aware of your own strengths and weaknesses so that you can use them to your advantage. Being honest with yourself will also help you build trust with others.
3. Communicate openly and honestly with others
Part of being an authentic leader is being open and honest with the people you communicate with. This means sharing your thoughts and feelings openly, being transparent about your decision-making process, and giving others the opportunity to provide input.
4. Inspire trust by being reliable, consistent, and authentic in your words and actions
If you want people to trust you as a leader, it’s important to be authentic in your words and actions. This means being reliable – people can count on you to follow through on your commitments – and consistent – people know what to expect from you.
5. Respect others and treat them fairly
An authentic leader respects the dignity of every person they interact with. This means treating others fairly, valuing their input, and listening to their needs.
6. Build relationships of mutual respect
Authentic leaders know that effective leadership is built on relationships of mutual respect. This means taking the time to get to know the people you work with, understand their perspectives, and build relationships based on trust and understanding.
7. Show vulnerability
One of authentic leadership’s most important – and often misunderstood – aspects is vulnerability. Being vulnerable doesn’t mean being weak; it means being open to new ideas and experiences, admitting when you’re wrong, and being willing to learn from your mistakes. When you show vulnerability, you give others the opportunity to do the same, which can create open and collaborative teamwork.
Authentic leaders are essential to any organization or team. They create a connection with others, engage them in a meaningful way, and inspire them to achieve great things. If you’re looking to grow your authentic leadership skills, start by being clear about your values, self-aware about your strengths and weaknesses, and communicating openly and honestly with others. Then, show respect for others and build relationships of mutual respect. Lastly, don’t be afraid to show vulnerability – it’s one of the most important aspects of authentic leadership.
Brene Brown has said, “Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.” When we embrace our authentic selves, we can’t help but inspire others to do the same.
Leadership is about more than just telling people what to do – it’s about creating a connection that inspires them to achieve great things. By considering and following these seven tips, you can start to develop the authentic leadership skills that will help you create meaningful connections and achieve success.
What are your thoughts on authentic leadership? Do you have any tips to add? Let us know in the comments below!