The Five Practices of Authentic Leaders: Part 1 of 5

What does authenticity have to do with leadership? If your role involves influencing others or bringing out the best in people, your own authenticity can have a major impact on what you are likely to produce. Authenticity is about credibility and trust. When you are fully in touch with who you are, you are able to bring the full range of your capacity to a situation:  you are more powerful and engaging, more present. People trust you when you are genuine and authentic, not a replica of someone else. 

You can become more authentic through making five practices habit.  Each practice will be explored in separate blogs.

1.    Know Who You Are

As they come to know their authentic selves, leaders become more humane and willing to be vulnerable – making them more attractive and influential.  When the 75 members of Stanford Graduate School of Business’s Advisory Council were asked to recommend the most important capability for leaders to develop, their answer was nearly unanimous: self-awareness. Yet many leaders, especially those early in their careers, are trying so hard to establish themselves that they leave little time for self-exploration. Often, their drive enables them to be professionally successful for a while, but they are unable to sustain that success. As they age, they may find something is missing in their lives and realize they are holding back from being the person they want to be.

My own journey to self-awareness began nearly twelve years ago and came about mostly because I was discontent in several realms of my life:  I was in a job way below my competency level, in a dissatisfying romantic relationship, and carrying a lot of hurt from my childhood.  Learning who I am has helped me to get clearer on what I want and what I enjoy doing – which has led to the total revamping of my professional life into something more fulfilling to me and a much more satisfying love relationship.  And, the more I am in alignment with myself, the more genuine I am able to be.

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