No legacy is so rich as honesty. – Shakespeare
When we think of leaders we admire, rarely is it someone who is perfect. Rarely do our role models win both the Olympic gold medal and the presidential race. “Perfection” of that magnitude would be extraordinary, but seriously hard to relate to. That is why great leaders openly acknowledge both their strengths and their weaknesses. Simply put: great leaders are authentic.
Authenticity as a leader is not only about giving yourself permission to be vulnerable, but also allowing your team to be unapologetically themselves. Often leaders create an unnecessary pressure to be “perfect,” but by acknowledging that we aren’t we have the opportunity to empower our team to bring their strengths to the table and be freed from the weight of unrealistic pressures. You can try to fake perfection for a little while, but in times of stress, who you really are is what people will see. Those around us already know what we are good at and where we struggle; recognizing weakness gives our team members the chance to grow, and what leader doesn’t want a team of individuals who are seeking greater growth?
[bctt tweet=”Simply put: great leaders are authentic.” username=”ronkitchens”]
As a point leader I do my best to focus on talent and service with our team members. I try to find what people are great at and accelerate their natural strengths. Having team members fake who they are is a remedial strategy. As a collective group we must be authentic to gain and keep the trust of our clients and customers. Our audiences want to know who we really are, and my guess is, so do yours.
Question: Who are you? What are your strengths? Are you being true to them? Take some time to mediate on this theme of authenticity.