“That inner voice has both gentleness and clarity. So to get to authenticity, you really keep going down to the bone, to the honesty, and the inevitability of something.”
It’s funny how many people think I am going to change them when I begin working with them. That is far from the truth. Leaders must stay true to their innate personality, self and way of being as much as possible. Others sense when one is smooth vs natural, clever vs thoughtful, clear vs fuzzy, defensive vs open, driving an agenda vs exploring a better way, manipulating vs collaborating, and the list goes on. In leadership, most follow someone who is authentic and imperfect vs smooth and perfect.
Now, this does not mean you get to just hang out and say whatever crosses your mind. (We all know this happens inherently when people turn about 80 years old and the ability to say what is socially appropriate leaves the brain) Nor does it mean you get to just do what you want. It does mean you must hone the asset of you. As a leader you need to continue to be inspired, to grow, to learn, and to develop new skills. As you grow in these ways so to do those around you. Leaders stay true to “who” they are while continuing to grow and develop “how” they are in the world. Your ability to connect to others and engage their focus and energy will require your constant growth and development as a leader. This is leadership skill development. People respect those who continue to hone their skills and abilities while keeping the nature of who they are.
“The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes
Staying true to you means:
1. Be open to learning and willing to make mistakes while you grow new skills
2. Being willing to expand your horizons in your brain in how you look at the world and see with new eyes
3. Keeping your natural sense of humor and understanding that learning and growth are imperfect and important to development
4. Figuring out your perspective on a situation and speaking your truth in the moment (while being willing to modify it when you get new data/thinking that challenges and expands your perspective)
5. Knowing what brings you to life, what inspires you, and keeps the internal flame burning
6. Having a life, hobbies, friends, and activities that feed all aspects of yourself – continuing to expand yourself in all these areas
7. Spending time in nature to connect to your nature
Stay true. Continue to be yourself, speak from the heart, and develop the skills that allow others to follow “the heart” of who you are.
“Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable. Be honest and transparent anyway.”
So do people change when I work with them? They might say they unfold, they expand, and they have a broader range of skills that allows them to move and adapt as they move through the world and life.
Stay true to you,