“This above all: to thine own self be true” – William Shakespeare
I’ve been lucky enough to work with several inspiring leaders during my career – role models I aim to follow in my own leadership.
There’s one key trait I learned from those leaders that I strive to demonstrate every day – authenticity. Authenticity to myself, to my values, to my strengths and weaknesses. Everything else I do follows on from that.
Are you an authentic leader? Here are three ways I check my progress, which you may find useful:
- You go first with 80%, rather than waiting for 100% – you lead by example and take the initiative, rather than waiting to see what others do or for a ‘perfect’ version of what you are working on to be ready first.
- You show trust to build trust – you empower your team and you trust them to deliver. You don’t solve all their problems, you don’t micromanage them and you aren’t afraid to connect with them on a genuine level.
- You care about what’s right, not about being right – you check your ego at the door and focus on what’s right for the company and its people in the long term, not on proving you are right at any cost.
Being an authentic leader means that I am free to be myself today, and to grow towards the person I aspire to be tomorrow.
I wouldn’t want it any other way.