Wise Up! Leading Authentic and Sincere
Leadership is about choices. Do you ever get a feeling in your gut when someone isn’t sincere? They don’t seem real. Like an actor in a play, they seem to be playing a role, and you’re left wondering who they really are. Leaders worth following avoid engaging in this kind of masquerade; rather, they consistently live out the values they proclaim.
Some of us are more exposed and accessible than perhaps we should be, and some of us are more guarded and cautious. You can’t always be an open book and you also can’t be tight-lipped on every situation. Elegant Leaders are proactively transparent – they wise up! We share what we can share at the time given the set of circumstances. Wise up and make a choice. Lead with what makes sense – being authentic and sincere. In an earlier post, Being Vulnerable and Transparent, we shared how courage begins when we show up and let ourselves be seen.
“If we are to be people of integrity, we must constantly confront our lack of integrity.”
We all want to associate ourselves with people who believe what we believe in – to belong, to enjoy that connection. While no leader is without gaps between their espoused values – what they say – and their enacted values – what they actually do, Elegant Leaders are atuned to this dynamic and constantly strive to close this gap. This synthesis is the essence of authenticity.
Authentic leaders have a seamless link between their values and their actions. The congruence between values and attitudes is just the starting point for authentic leadership. A leader’s attitudes and actions must be anchored to their principlies and standards. When a leader’s enacted values correspond with their adopted values, and those values are in turn anchored to principles, they lead elegantly.
Elegant Leaders link their attitudes, values, and behaviors to right principles and standards. Here are three adverbs to indicate the authenticity and sincerity of one’s conduct and motives — devoutly, uprightly, and blamelessly. Elegant Leaders have inner convictions, that moral compass which leads to fervent behaviors that are outwardly demonstrated. Their conduct is blameless and irreproachable. Sadly, we find ourselves surrounded by leaders who swing from one end of the behavior pendulum to the other.
“I can’t hear what you’re saying because I am so distracted by what we you’re doing.”
It’s easy to critique the authenticity of others. But, if we are really serious about developing our own authenticity, we must focus on ourselves. Elegant Leaders are consistently challenged to confront the gap between our words and our actions. The quotes remind me of the importance of authenticity, and if we are to lead with integrity, we must be willing to confront our own hypocrisy. Only by doing this can we be authentic and sincere.
Take a moment today and reflect on these questions of your Leadership:
Think of a time when someone in a leadership position acted in a way that was contradictory to what they had said. How did that impact their credibility?
Think of a time when you were in a leadership position and acted in a way that was contradictory to what you said. What was the impact on your credibility?
“If we are to be people of integrity, we must constantly confront our lack of integrity.” How comfortable are you with this idea? Where are your “integrity gaps”?
What small thing in your life right now has the potential to grow into a big thing? Who, other than you, knows about it?
You need an intimate group of people who love you enough to challenge your integrity gaps and tell you about our blind spots. Have you cultivated anyone like this? Do it now
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