Authentic Leadership and Employee Engagement: Getting Buy-In

Authentic leadership and employee engagement are deeply intertwined. I submit to you that you cannot have one without the other.

Your employees are people… so treat them that way.

Employee engagement functionally means connecting with your team at the human level. Connecting at a human level means being human and being authentic. Not just authentic in the sense of informality or dropping decorum, such as “let’s grab a beer after work.”

Nor does authentic mean just coming in and saying whatever is on your mind – regardless of whether or not anybody is in a state of mind to hear it.

The journey to authentic leadership begins within – being the authentic leader we envision we would like to be.


Start Your Authentic Leadership Journey With The Be-Do-Have Model


Following the standard model of achievement, most people engage the Do-Have-Be model.

That is, they begin DOING something so that they can HAVE something (a result, a goal) so that they can BE the thing they want to be – whether it is happy, or successful, or serene, or whatever they desire to be.

The problem with this model is that it makes achievement of the ultimate goal – the BE – conditional on activity and external factors we cannot control. External factors we cannot control can include resources, sums of money, physical or intellectual attributes, a certain degree of social status, etc.

At Hallett Leadership we engage the Be-Do-Have Model with our program participants.

Therefore, we don’t recommend simply lunging forward to DO things in order to HAVE things in order to BE a great leader (the Do-Have-Be Model.)

Instead, BE a great leader to start with, find that connection with who you are inside, and let it come forward. And then you can DO the things with your team and HAVE the things you want because you’re coming from a level of excellence and high-performance.

Do you believe you somehow can just HAVE an engaged workforce that will DO what needs to be done?

No, you want to BE the goal achiever in the first place, know that you have that insight, and then engage your team in order to accomplish things. You have to first BE the engaged employee you want your workforce to be. They need to see you as the example, demonstrating that leadership on an ongoing basis. Engaging people means engaging your people as people, as humans, not just giving them gifts or bonuses or day trips to buy their loyalty. It means truly engaging them in the process. So, share with your people the vision that you have in mind, let them know what it is. Engage with them by asking them to weigh in on why the team vision matters and get their input


Team Vision: What Are We Going After Together?


What are the goals? The questioning doesn’t end there – also inquire together about how the team is going to achieve the goals. This leads everyone into a discussion about the values that are important.

What levels of mutual trust and respect are important to you, and how are you going to operate in a respectful way? This process is not just about the goal. It’s about the process of getting there and the relationships and connections that you build along the way. That is true engagement.

So if you are ready to engage and you’re ready to learn, sign up for the Hallett Leadership monthly here. It’s just one email a month where we can support you in becoming and continuing to be an authentic leader. That’s it for today. Thanks for tuning in and we’ll see you on the next one.

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