Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Becoming the You that you’ve always hoped to be

Best friends. Isn’t it fun to hang out with them? You get to be totally real with them: no pretense, no pretending, just relaxing and being you. Those are great times—it would be great to live right there. But that’s impossible, right?

Not necessarily. We really appreciate people who are authentic. We love those who are confident enough to be themselves, yet humble enough to care for others (including us!). We LOVE those who are genuine, transparent, authentic . . . pick whatever word you like. We want to be around those who are “keeping it real” and not being “posers.” Authentic leaders are the most respected leaders in the world.

There’s great news—you and I can learn to be more authentic, and we can start right now. CLICK TO TWEET

Real leaders are vulnerable and approachable. They don’t shy away from their failures, they learn from them. We can grow in these areas. When you and I are authentic leaders, people will follow. It’s a universal principle!

The world is divided into 24 time zones, and I’ve had the privilege of training leaders from 18 of them. What you hear on TED Talks is true—there are remarkable leaders getting phenomenal results in remote corners of the world. Research has proven that the most authentic leaders are the most loved . . . in Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe, and everywhere else on the planet. As a matter of fact, these behaviors are like magnets in any culture. Great leaders have a few things in common, and one of the most important is authenticity.

Why is authenticity so important?

In every case studied, authenticity is a key indicator of trust and, therefore, leadership effectiveness. When a leader is viewed as “real” regarding his or her fears and shortcomings, followers notice.

If leaders reveal the courage and resilience to overcome their fears, they become like magnets to others—the leaders’ behavior draws greatness out of those nearby.

Everyone agrees that authenticity is scary, so let’s start slow! Consider how seldom we hear statements like these:

  • “I’m not very good in this area.”
  • “I’ll need help figuring out which direction to take next.”
  • “Will you please take a look at this for me? I may be missing something important and I could really use your help.”

If your boss made one of those three statements, would your respect  for him or her go up or down? Around the globe, we tend to respect those who are humble and ask others for help when needed. We consider them to be more authentic.

The Bottom Line: Authenticity is intentional. We choose to tell the truth on the outside about what’s really going on inside.

At LeaderTribe, we grow. Identify an area of life where you can be more real with yourself and with those around you. Take a deep breath, then practice saying these words out loud: “I need help with something that I’d like to talk to you about . . .”

C’mon—you didn’t say it. Practice it out loud. Say it. This one sentence will draw people to you. Their respect will skyrocket and you’ll be a better leader because of your authenticity.

Below is a free download: 5 more things you can do to become more authentic.Remember, we’re on this journey together—that is what LeaderTribe is all about. Join me in leaving a comment below.


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