"Leadership is a choice, not a position"-Stephen Covey
Leadership is a calling that is embraced as an act of service. It is a choice one makes in order to create change. When that choice is made you must show up as your true, authentic self. There are 5 qualities that an authentic leader must possess in order to create change in their organizations, transform the lives of their teams and impact communities.
No. 1 Purpose
What is your purpose as a leader? Why do you do what you do? What fuels you and drives you to foster change? What do you believe in? What energizes you? Who do you want to help? Without a purpose, without a why, the road to success becomes much harder. People will follow you and remain loyal because of your why not because of what you bring. Answering the above questions will bring clarity to your role. It will help you push past adversity. It will shape and transform your journey.
No 2. Personality
Your personality is what makes you unique. It is the way you behave, your thought patterns and the way you feel about situations. It separates you and differentiates you from everyone else. Your personality can be a gift used to help others and take your leadership to higher heights. Leaders who have personality traits of being open, agreeable and conscientious, as well as those who seek sources outside of themselves and are aware of their emotions were found to be more effective and highly sought after.
Instead of trying to take on someone else's personality, nurture your own. What are your personality strengths? Where can you improve and make changes? There are several personality test that can help you learn more about your unique personality traits. Myers Brigg and Big Five to name a few.
No. 3 Being Present
"Being present means being completely aware of all that is. It means you are not in denial, you're not pretending, and you're not avoiding."- Debbie Ford
The most basic and powerful way to connect with others and therefore lead with authenticity, is to just listen and be present. Be present and give them your undivided attention. Listen without the need to respond. Listen for clarity. Listen to show you value their thoughts and ideas. Listen to strengthen your relationships. At the core of authentic leadership is having strong, honest relationships with your team and valuing their input. Try to embrace the power of listening and then watch your leadership soar.
No. 4 Being Prepared
"You can’t expect people to perform better if they are not prepared to successfully deliver what is expected from them – and you are not prepared to deliver the leadership they expect from you."- Glen Llopis
Here are some tips for staying prepared:
~Prepare yourself for the day by praying, meditating or reflecting so that your mind is open to receive clarity on what is being put before you and asked of you.
~Prepare by keeping a calendar of important events, personal and professional so you don't miss deadlines.
~Prepare for opportunities so they don't pass you by.
~Prepare for projects by taking larger tasks and breaking them down into smaller more achievable tasks.
~Prepare for meetings by doing the research so that you have answers.
~Prepare for life events such as protecting your family, aging parents, health issues and financial security in order to reduce your stress and manage work-life more effectively.
Prepare so you that you not only help yourself but those you serve.
No. 5 Perseverance
Perseverance is a trait that all leaders must have. It is the persistence to stay the course and lead your team even during difficult times. Perseverance is:
~Developing a positive mindset. Remaining positive and mentally preparing for difficulties will make it easier to deal with challenges when they arise.
~Realizing that success is a journey and there may be many twists and turns along the way.
~Keeping your eye on the prize. Remember the vision and help everyone else to visualize the end goal.
To lead with authenticity is to influence and inspire others. It means being vulnerable and being open. It means challenging the status quo and hanging in there for the long haul even when challenges arise. This type of leadership leads to great outcomes for organizations and for the growth of future leaders in the workplace.
"Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself. Do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it."-Bruce Lee
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