Authenticity is when your thoughts, feelings and body language are all aligned.
The authentic leader is more trustworthy because they are real, and that makes us feel safe. I remember one leader was shocked when his people told him they knew whether they would have a good day or bad day based on how he walked across the car park each morning. They couldn’t predict which leader they would get, one day to the next. They didn’t feel safe. He was totally unaware. When I asked how he wanted to lead, he said, inspiring, motivating, supportive and caring. Yet when he felt out of control he showed up as quite the opposite. He tried to assume control by being controlling.
The leader who is not aware is generally ego-led, meaning that they are in self-preservation mode, putting on a mask to survive. It’s exhausting and, to be honest, we can all spot a fake. The mask will drop and the real you will be seen.
I have worked with leaders who have worn the mask for so long they no longer know who they are anymore.
LeaderX values autonomy, meaning they take responsibility for their decisions, actions and behaviours. In turn they expect others to be autonomous. They don’t play the blame game, instead, they ask “what are your trying to achieve and who do you need to be to achieve it?”
LeaderX also values the power of relationship. To build strong relationships, they must first build trust. You can’t build trust from an inauthentic place. You, as a leader need to get comfortable being authentic, consistent and speak truth.
The worksheet below gives you with the opportunity to understand your authenticity in practice and provides direction on how you could improve.