For years I’ve been coaching managers and working with teams.
What I see time and time again is people struggling to keep up. Trying to advance in a corporate world that has no soul. There are many great people out there trying to decide if they should keep climbing the ladder or step back to smell the roses. Each person has to answer that question for themselves but understanding who you are will greatly assist in knowing what to do.
If you have read any of my articles or have worked with me before you will know that my approach towards life is to consistently take action towards your priorities and goals, to focus on the positive and to live a happy life. What I try to do each day as a coach is help people be their authentic selves. When you find your authentic self it helps you to make better decisions, it sets your boundaries.
Leadership is not about changing yourself to be like someone else, effective leadership requires you to be true to yourself, always striving to become the best version of yourself. Authentic, compassionate and driven to make a difference.
These words have had a massive impact on many people, many people in leadership positions are struggling to be the person they think they should be, rather than the real person they were born to be. The first step to being a good leader or a good person is to be true to yourself.
So the question is how do you become an Authentic leader, true to yourself yet committed to always improve and be better?
Be Clear about your Values
Often in the day to day hustle we loose sight of what our values are, allowing ourselves to be swept up with the culture and the values of the organisation we work in or the people that surround us. Your values define who you are, they effect the decisions you make and ultimately create the life that you lead. For this reason it is vital to understand what your own personal values are and take some time to decide if the life you are living is congruent with each one of your values. When you are clear on your values you are better able to live authentically each day. Here is a great article from Mindtools to help you identify your values
Understand your Strengths and Weaknesses
For many years popular thought said to identify our weaknesses and make them better, Marcus Buckingham in the book Discover your strengths advocated the view that we should focus on our strengths and make them even better. This was based on a Gallup survey and the Strengths Finder programme. I believe it’s a balance between the two, sometimes we have weaknesses that need to be worked on, other times our strengths need to excel. The starting point is to be clear about what each are and then you can make an informed decision on where to focus your energy. Being yourself is about focusing on your strengths and weaknesses and making the best decision for you as an individual as opposed to looking at someone else’s strengths and trying to mimic them. Effective leaders have many traits that make them good leaders but no body has everything, in fact there are so many traits that that make good leader that we all have some of them. Many strong commercial leaders lack empathy, many empathetic leaders lack determination and drive. Good leaders need to be who there are, just better.
Commit to taking Relentless Action
Great leaders consistently take action. They don’t wait for someone else to do it or wait for a sunnier day or a bigger crowd, they just get on with it. If you want to be an authentic leader you need to walk your talk, you need to keep moving forward and work as you expect others to work. Only when you take a step forward will you know if the path you are on is the right path. Listen to your gut, live in accordance with your values.
Action is the key to all success, so if you are looking for more success in life, if you would like to be happier or more accomplished, start by taking a step forward and see where it takes you.