As noted by Brooke Vukovic, adjunct lecturer of leadership coaching at Northwestern University, the key to successful leadership is authenticity – drawing from one’s own unique experiences, values and strengths. According to Vukovic, authenticity, “is not a license to be exclusively focused on the self. It’s about being aligned with your character and values in order to lead effectively.”
Two key areas to focus on as you become an authentic leader are truly knowing yourself and learning to connect with others. Simple, yet profound. It takes work and an ongoing commitment to lead with authenticity – but it’s achievable and sustainable, as long as you keep those things in mind.
In short, this means being aware of your unique character, values, strengths and weaknesses, and purpose. Develop a strong, clear understanding of what motivates you and how you want to motivate your team members.
- Become more self-aware. Self-awareness is the ability to monitor your own emotions and reactions. It equips you to better process and work through those emotions, avoiding unnecessary conflict. Work on keeping an open mind, staying focused, setting boundaries, and knowing your emotional triggers. Embrace your intuition, practice self-discipline, and always consider how your actions affect others.
- Be a lifelong learner. Commit to this goal yourself, and cultivate it throughout your organization. Rather than resisting change or getting stuck because “that’s the way we’ve always done things,” celebrate continuous learning and improvement. Try dedicating 30 to 60 minutes a week to learning something new and setting an example for your company.
- Stay balanced. Maintain consistency in all areas of your life. Work/life balance is always a challenge, but integrating the two together in a healthy way is a strong bridge to authenticity.
Learn to connect.
What distinguishes leaders is their ability to understand the impact and influence they have on others.
- Keep communication lines open. This includes continuously seeking and actively listening to feedback, both formal and informal. Whether you act on feedback or not, be sure to acknowledge that you’ve received it and you understand it – and that whatever conclusion you reach or responsive action you take stays consistent with your values.
- Practice humility. Authentic leaders are trusted leaders – and in order for people to trust you, you have to give them a reason to do so. Humility and openness are key, and create an environment of collaboration, trust, and psychological safety. Employees and team members feel comfortable being human and fallible, which means they also feel free to honestly speak their mind, even if they disagree with you.
As you strive to reach your leadership goals, let PrideStaff Modesto provide coaching services and become your trusted partner through the life cycle of your career. We do more than just place people in open jobs. Our mission and vision encompass that, but also extend much further, with everything we do engineered to help you find ongoing success in your chosen field. Reach out to us today to learn more.