The Five Practices of Authentic Leaders: Part 4 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 writings.  Delved into so far:  1. Know Who You Are, 2. Reframe Your Life Experiences, 3. Live Your Values.

4. Prioritize Balance

 Leading is high-stress work. The higher you go, the greater your freedom to control your destiny but also the higher the degree of stress. The question is not whether you can avoid stress but how you can control it to maintain your own sense of equilibrium.

 Authentic leaders are constantly aware of the importance of staying grounded. Besides spending time with their families and close friends, authentic leaders get physical exercise, engage in spiritual practices, do community service, and return to the places where they grew up. Balance in the work day can take many forms and doesn’t have to take a lot of time:  10 minutes to walk around the block and get fresh air, five deep breaths and a stretch while the computer is churning, a phone call to a friend. All balance practices are essential to the effectiveness of leaders, enabling them to sustain their authenticity and their true power.

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