Want to be a truly authentic leader? Lead with your values.

Authentic leaders go much deeper than their life story, what they have been through, or the issues they have. They embrace their true self and their ethical values along with their weaknesses and use their strengths to their advantage without worrying about what others think.

-Peter Economy, in 9 Powerful Ways Great Leaders Show Real Authenticity

You want to live – and lead – authentically.

This happens in a variety of ways depending on people and circumstances. For instance, you may wish to deepen your capacity to:

  • Be a leader your team can trust.
  • Influence others in positive ways.
  • Make a greater impact in your organization.

How can you achieve these lofty leadership visions? The answer might be simpler than you think.

Align with your values to lead with authenticity…

You can start building a firm foundation today to lead with authenticity by coming into greater alignment with your values. In fact, living your values is one of the five practices of authentic leaders.

According to Richard Barrett, living authentically in alignment with our values and beliefs is associated with the fourth level of personal consciousness, transformation. If you’re unfamiliar with the 7 Levels of Personal Consciousness, I encourage you to explore this topic at www.valuescentre.com.

At the transformation level, you get to know your authentic self and establish your own voice. Part of the journey involves a release of subliminal, fear-based beliefs around not being able to meet your most basic needs. These beliefs may have been holding you back from living your values and reaching higher levels of consciousness and of fulfillment.

In turn, this release allows you to begin the ascension process into the next three levels of consciousness:

  • Internal Cohesion
  • Making a Difference
  • Service

A word of caution here, though: only 30% of humans make the choice and exhibit the courage necessary to cross the bridge from the “me-me-me” mindset into that of the greater good. This gap in choice for levels of values shows that making the switch to higher values takes courage, practice and commitment.

3 Strategies to Live (and Lead) in Alignment With Your Values

To get there, here are three of my favorite tips to guide you to live in greater alignment with your values:

  1. Leave perfection behind. Instead, emphasize acceptance. Acceptance is not “giving in.” “Just accepting” a disagreeable situation is not what is called for here. Quite the opposite, conscious acceptance can support a creative approach to problem-solving – a win-win for you and your team!
  2. Express yourself. Truly authentic leaders express who they are. They don’t “fake it till they make it” or hide behind a false façade. They are rooted in who they truly are and have the courage to call it how it is, even going against the grain when the situation dictates.
  3. Stand your ground. Your values are uniquely your own. The desire to “be liked” – or outside circumstances and opinions – needn’t influence what is important to you. Of course, leaders can modify strategies or approaches to a problem. But, never alter your core beliefs and principles.

Over time, you’ll start to realize some appreciable benefits. As you’re able to bring the full range of your capacity to a situation, your presence will be more meaningful, powerful, and engaging.

You can’t force anyone to trust you. They’ll chose to when you are genuine and authentic, not an imitation of someone else.

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