4 Compelling Benefits of Why You Need to be Authentic as a Leader
Why does a leader need to be authentic? It's a question Lynn and I get asked time and time again.
It is really difficult to be truly authentic all the time as it means you have to take off the mask and be prepared to disclose not just your "beauty spots, but the warts" as well.
This means knowing your limitations and being able to pitch up in relationships not trying to hide the part or parts of yourself you don't like.
Taking off the mask takes courage and a preparedness to learn about what's important to you and what gives you meaning and purpose.
However, if you are prepared to do your best to be authentic as often as possible there are some compelling benefits to be had:
- You will be trusted
If you express yourself in a way in which you walk your talk and are prepared to stick up for what you believe in others will follow. When you say your "truth" and are honest even when you don't have all the answers, trust is created. Many great leaders display integrity. By being authentic you are leading with integrity, which means to do the "right" thing even when you receive no personal gain from the outcome. Integrity honours the importance of your relationships.
- You will be less stressed
By being authentic you are not using lots of negative energy in creating a mask to hide all your "warts". Instead you are being true to yourself and developing relationships based on your sense of self as opposed to displaying defiant or compliant behaviours in the way in which you meet just your own needs or just other people's needs.
- You will feel happier
It goes without saying that if you are less stressed you are normally far happier as a person. There is also a lot of research which links many aspects of well-being with being authentic. When you are authentic you have greater coping skills, higher levels of self-esteem and more energy. By accepting who you are (and who others are), you avoid unnecessary suffering.
- You will be more able to cope with uncertainty
The root of the word authenticity comes from "being the author of your own life". In your leadership context "having your career ladder up against your career path". When you have this type of self-awareness you don't get blown around by circumstances as you have meaning in what you do. You have set your own sails and cope better with the winds of change.
Just imagine going to work every day and being true to yourself (in a way which allows others to be true to them self). How would you feel and what would your relationships be like?
TRY IT! Let us know how you get on?