You Have What You Seek
To get where you want to go, move toward authentic leadership.
The main characters in the Wizard of Oz discovered they already had what they sought. The Tin Man always had heart. The Cowardly Lion had courage and the Scarecrow had a brain. Finding their authentic selves set them free.
You have what you seek.
5 powers of authenticity:
- Show up as yourself in order to be judged trustworthy. Trust declines as mask-wearing goes up.
- Show some warts, but remember work isn’t a self-help group. When your journey serves the best interest of others, share it. If you’re looking for sympathy, find it with friends and family.
- Share progress. Let others see how you’ve overcome failure.
- Convey lessons learned. Know-it-alls just know. Authentic wisdom has a life-story behind it.
- See yourself to forget yourself. Leadership is about others.
- Accept yourself to stop defending yourself.
- Trust yourself in order to bring your best self. I’ve learned to trust my curious nature, for example. The deepest benefit I bring others is often connected to curiosity.
- Exhibit self-compassion in order to learn candor with kindness.
Authenticity has purpose:
- Freedom to seek the highest good of others is the ultimate expression of authentic leadership.
- Courage and strength to bring your best is rooted in authenticity.
- Self-expression is one aspect of authenticity. But, authenticity isn’t saying everything you think without regard for consequences. Constantly spilling your guts is distracting, immature, and self-serving.
4 ways to help others find authenticity:
- Uncover capacities, strengths, and talents. Provide assessments and personal observations.
- Explore how their history shaped them.
- Point out inconsistencies and hypocrisies. Say what you see.
- Provide space for reflection. Ask questions. Allow for silence. People lose themselves in busyness.
Fulfillment, energy, and impact connect to authenticity.
What is the value and power of authenticity?
What does the journey toward authentic leadership look like?
I’m delighted to partner with Clarity Development Consulting to offer the proven “Coaching for Engagement” program. Drop me an email if you’d like to explore having Bob Hancox and me come to your organization to develop the coaching skills of your team.
Dan love the Wizard of Oz analogy! This reminds me of an old favorite line Its only Business. I have had bankers, lawyers and other adversaries outright lie or twist the truth or even violate security laws in deals. When challenged the response is Its only Business! Some people have dual values, one for work and one for life. I tried to treat others the same way in both worlds. Not an easy path!
Thanks Brad. You’re nailing an important idea about authenticity. Authentic leaders show up as the same person whether it’s home, sports, business, or ….
Thanks for a useful illustration.
Authenticity is often lost in the hunt significance. This hunt blocks finding the authenticity to offer to others — good post Dan.
Aloha Dan! I just subscribed and am thoroughly enjoying your thoughts on life, business, and leadership! I am grateful to see that we share aligned values (I AM the same whether in work or personal interactions), but the refinements about authenticity, e.g. the boundaries around “self-expression” are great! Thank you!