I used to think in order to be authentic, perfection was required.
…otherwise you just open things up to be judged left and right by others (I’m learning just how much this former belief says about me and how I viewed the world – more on that later).
These last few years my eyes and mind have been opened to the power, and more importantly, the value of true authenticity…which you guessed it, has absolutely nothing to do with perfection.
Authenticity is when you show up being yourself – flaws and all – not an imitation of what you think you should be or have been told you should be
…and anyone who knows me knows how I feel about “shoulding” on yourself and others.
I’m reminded of a line I heard years ago when I was first launching my business…
“To a 3rd grader, a 4th grader is God”.
This hit a chord and resonated.
It’s such a good reminder that you don’t have to have all the answers or do things perfectly to bring value to others. If you look around, the most successful leaders in business embody authentic leadership. Again, this isn’t about “perfect” leadership.
Authentic leaders are self-aware – they know their strengths and weaknesses.
Authentic leaders lead with their heart, not just with their mind.
They’re not afraid to express their emotions and share their vulnerability, and this actually allows them to truly connect with their team, their clients and their community.
Authentic leaders are genuine and transparent, meaning they don’t show up as one version of themselves at the office and an entirely different version out of the office.
Don’t let any of this fool you, authentic leaders are also very results driven, solution oriented and focused.
Their drive, pursuit and determination comes from their ability to connect with the vision (both short and long-term goals) and is fueled by a commitment to the results, not their ego. I believe authentic leadership is where the magic happens for business owners and is one of the key strategies I empower each of my clients to embrace, explore and expand from.
This has proven time and time again to be the most important strategy we implement and hands down, the one that is continually responsible for the greatest breakthroughs and growth.
Authentic leadership is owning who you are, the value you bring as you are now, while continually striving to become the highest version of you.