How to Navigate the Path to Authenticity


“Authenticity is your greatest asset. Lose your authenticity and you’ve lost everything,” Marcus Buckingham. For Buckingham authenticity is strength based leadership.

But, are you sure who the authentic you is? I’m not. Additionally, I get confused between who I am and who I want to be. Wanting obscures.

  • I want to please people but not be a people pleaser.
  • I want to please myself but not be selfish.
  • I want to make a difference but not be controlled by success.
  • I want to lead with emotion but my emotions flop around like a fish on a dock.
  • I want to lead from the heart but my heart isn’t always noble.
  • I want to exhibit confidence but does wanting indicate I’m not.
Authenticity overrated:

Seth Godin suggests we spend too much time on the ambiguous, evasive topic of being.

“Internal vision is always blurry. Authenticity, for me, is doing what you promise, not ‘being who you are’.”

It’s a challenge to “be who you are” when you aren’t sure who that is.

Alternatives and options:

  1. Do more than find yourself, make contributions.
  2. Contributing enlightens. You see yourself best when you’re doing not thinking, go do something.
  3. Create a team that openly acknowledges and radically maximizes each other’s strengths.
  4. Find someone dedicated to helping you reach your potential. Warning: Most want you to be who they want.
  5. Inspire others to seek their greatest contribution, not the one you want them to make.

Roots of authentic leadership:

An authentic leadership-future emerges from the things you’ve changed in your past.

  • What difficulties have you overcome?
  • What challenges have you successfully faced?

Leaders change things. If you aren’t changing something you aren’t leading.

The things you’ve changed in your life represent your authentic leadership potential.

How are you finding authentic leadership?


Post in a picture by Larry Copennrath: Courage

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