Be Your Brand – 5 Factors of Authentic Leadership

May 13, 2018

“Walking into my power means brining all of me in the door; my good parts, my bad parts and those parts I don’t want to claim. Because when I bring all of me in the door, I am grounded. I can use my gifts and I can dance with my demons, which means I can make a difference in the world.”

— Ella L. J. Edmondson Bell

Authentic leadership is an act of courage built upon integrity.  Any other way of leading is simply disempowering .

Remove the mask

It is not uncommon to feel uneasy when we lead from the heart of who we are because over time  we may have fallen out of touch with our individuality and not experienced the breadth of our gifts and talents, nor acknowledged the courage it takes to be distinguishable using them.

When we know and accept our uniqueness we have a better sense of self, self-confidence and are more likely to validate and encourage others to do the same.

Express genuine thoughts and feelings

To be authentic means to accept ourselves as we are in each and every moment.  And this all depends on our ability to speak our truth.

Speaking our truth with conviction is the only safe harbor we have because it ensures we are honest to our core values and connect our actions to our “why”.  Authentic leaders put their authenticity above all else.  They affirm what they believe, whether someone agrees with them or not because their security comes from inside themselves and not from outside approval.

Be open to an alternate path

The authentic leader gives from a place of truth rather than a sense of obligation.  Truth may lead to  unchartered territory.  Leading this way is not easy.  It involves a certain degree of intuitive guidance and willingness to trust the process.

Affirmations like, “I accept what is and take actions accordingly” can help.

Give others permission to be real by being real yourself

Do authentic leaders always lead perfectly?  No.  But when they fall short, they must realize if they could have done better, they would have.  Part of leadership is learning and moving on.

Nurture a high degree of self-awareness

A leader can stay on top of their authenticity by maintaining a high degree of self-awareness.  Contemplative questions are a key component.  Tune in by asking…

What am I doing that feels contrary to who I actually am?

What part of myself and my experience would my team benefit from knowing?

What is one thing I can do now that will help me to show more of my true self to my team?

Own who you are.  No one else can.  Embrace the power of your authenticity and make the difference in the world that only you can.