If you lead a team, the chances are your team has kept you up at night at one point or another.
Leading others is one of the most challenging jobs even if you have been doing it for a long time. Communicating effectively to drive performance is not easy. On some days, conflicts arise and before you know it, you spent the entire day trying to figure out how to resolve it. It can feel like a heavy weight on your shoulders especially if you truly care about your work and people.
But it really doesn’t have to feel this heavy.
In this post, I explain a simple view of authentic leadership, how it can help alleviate work stress and make leading people feel a lot more effortless.
Authentic Leadership Simply Means Being Yourself
Authentic leadership is a term that’s been circulating for a long time in the leadership development space. I probably define “authentic leadership” a lot more simply than a lot of other sources you see online. According to Harvard Business School Online, authentic leadership is “a leadership style exhibited by individuals who have high standards of integrity, take responsibility for their actions, and make decisions based on principle rather than short-term success.”
To me, at its core, authentic leadership means leading in a way that feels true to you. It is as simple as that, but it can look very different for every person.
To break it down further, authentic leadership is:
- Understanding deeply what matters to you as a leader and what your strengths are.
- Knowing how to leverage your skills to develop others.
- Having a clear vision on what defines team success and the behaviors that will support that.
- Being able to communicate that not just with your words, but also actions that feel meaningful to you and the team.
- And lastly, doing it everyday so that it becomes your way of being.
Now of course, there are many other leadership skills (e.g. how to delegate, provide feedback, etc. etc.) that are crucial for any leader to be successful. But how you can carry out those skills effortlessly comes down to communicate your vision tothe team and how you can get them there in a way that feels meaningful. Through this view of authentic leadership, you’re being more intentional with doing more of what matters most.
The hard part becomes how to identify what feels authentic to you. We’ll get into that in a later post!
What Being Yourself Means
As a leader, your team becomes your priority. Leading others is a big task but it doesn’t have to feel a chore.
When you’re able to truly identify what authentic leadership looks like for you, your whole job will feel more effortless, rewarding and fulfilling! It will fuel you and the others around you.
More specifically, becoming an authentic leader means you will:
- Find more meaning and purpose in the work that you do.
- Become more passionate about the work that you do.
- Identify bigger and more meaningful goals to reach f.or
- Inspire others to take more action.
- Build team engagement and trust organically.
How to Step into Authentic Leadership
Figuring out what authentic leadership means to you takes commitment to discover the type of leader you are and want to be. It is from there that you’ll be able to communicate a meaningful vision for yourself and your team! With a little of work and commitment, leading others can become more effortless than you think.
If you’d like to learn how you can step into authentic leadership today, my free guide on “3 Exercises to Build More Engagement” is an easy way for you to get started. I look forward to hearing the insights you’ve gathered from these exercises.