Authentic Leaders Take Us to New Places
The challenges and issues that organizations face change over time. This is also true of the communities we live in. Corporations may bring in individuals with specific skill sets to lead them through those challenges and then transition them out when stability returns. Civic leadership is determined through municipal elections and the opportunity to transition is set by the provincial government at every four years. Whether the expertise needed is available is determined by those individuals willing to believe that their contribution to future direction of their municipality is profitable and they willingly step into the electoral competition. The final decision is dependent on choices available for the popular vote.
Leadership focused on character rather than the issues that change over time provides the best possibilities. So how does an authentic leader grow and develop?
Awareness – Individuals that recognize their strengths, limitations and emotions deal with situations with greater strength. However, their decisions are not based on those emotions. This enables them to achieve success through the advancement of others.
Unguarded – An open person operating without guile draws others into relationship, which is ultimately what life is about. Sincerity is easily identified as humanity need to connect remains.
Truthful – True there are two sides to every story but it is important to remember the lessons learned at our parents’ knees – “Tell the truth so you don’t get confused about the last lie.” “Admit your mistakes. It is easier to move forward.”
Humble – Humility triumphs by being modest, unassuming and polite. People should lead with their heart not just their minds. Both help develop the strength of character to act maturely and professionally in diverse situations.
Evident – What is said and done are obvious to others. In fact this is how we determine how we interact with others. Our thoughts and feelings are not apparent to them; however, when actions and behaviour align, our ability to build meaningful relationships is enhanced.
Normal – The most amazing thing about authentic leadership is that it is ordinary. It is found commonly in those individuals we associate with. When a leader is genuine they are serving to establish a standard that others view as achievable.
Trustworthy – Dependability and honesty are key in choosing who we trust. This is challenging in the fast paced world in which we live with many commitments and interests, yet it is vital in those individuals we chose to trust the future of our communities with.
Integrity – An adherence to moral and ethical principles that speak of wholeness in character is a much spoken about and sought after requirement in the modern leader. It speaks of incorruptibility and not doing things for personal gain.
Consistent – One’s actions and behaviour are the same in public as they are in private. Continual repeated behaviour factors significantly into how leadership builds collaborative and innovative relationships and solutions to evolving challenges.
Leadership that stands the test of time knows both its strengths and weaknesses. Instead of surrounding itself with like minded individuals, it seeks out and encourages diversity to promote growth and success for everyone. Authenticity becomes evident in challenging times. Calgary’s Mayor Nenshi provides a great example of how that is done providing opportunity and bringing out the best in individuals. The humanity he provides to his municipality encourages its people to become more involved and committed to seeing their city shine.
Do you believe you have what it takes to be an authentic leader? If so, take a leap into leadership.