You are a unique individual. Likewise, your style of authentic leadership is unique. That is your voice.
Even though you may take inspiration from others – from heroes or people from history – remember that to fully own and engage your own authentic leadership voice, you’re going to have to abandon imitation. Now, this might be a little scary because all of us are inclined to emulate others.
So how do you engage your authentic leadership voice?
ONE: Get Clear On Who You Are
At the start of the journey, we would ask:
Who are you?
We said you’re unique, and that you have a unique leadership style… but finding that out means getting in touch with who you are. At first, answering the question of who you are may be a really obscure thing to you – so we suggest checking out our post on the Johari Window.
The Johari window is a tool where you can get feedback from other people about yourself, and the way others experience you showing up. The window’s framework can also empower you to open up about yourself, so that more of who you really are can be brought forward into the public domain. Sharing more of who you really are with your peers is the very act of sharing your authentic self.
Therefore, understanding who you are (self-awareness) is crucial as a beginning point for authentic leadership.
On my personal journey, there were parts of me that I didn’t bring forward early on. At one point, I created a personal vision statement that I’ve been able to refer back to in moments of doubt, and it has been extremely helpful. Through my personal vision statement, knowing that I am a powerful, compassionate, open leader makes all the difference in the world to me. I can go to my statement in the snap of a finger, and through it I remain in contact with who I am.
Who you are as a unique leader is not just a habit. It’s also not just being engaging and bringing people in and making sure they’re working together as a team.
At the heart of authentic leadership is the daily act of communicating from an authentic place.
TWO: Set Goals
Secondly, set goals – because you need to practice if you want to master something that will resonate and be resilient. You will need to practice and progress toward your goals to become a resilient and authentic leader.
As before, the game is not just about forming leadership habits (though this is incredibly important too). Don’t just practice bringing people together, but rather practice communicating authentically … and be vulnerable. Brené Brown famously wrote that:
“Vulnerability is the courage to show up, regardless of the outcome.”
If you’re going to be authentic, if you’re going to be real, then be vulnerable. Be willing to express that person inside of you that is real and genuine. Bring that person forward and let people know how you’re feeling.
THREE: Get A Coach
I have a coach. Sports teams and individual athletes have coaches.
Getting a coach is important because we can’t see everything ourselves. I’ve had the same coach for probably about 40 years now – and I know that my sessions with him made me not only a better leader, but a better person in all areas of my life.
So to recap: Who are you authentically? Set goals to make sure that you can practice and bring that person forward. And get a coach to make sure that you’re bringing forward all of who you are and letting someone else’s perspective weigh in on that.
Now if you’re ready to engage and learn on how to be an authentic leader, sign up for the Hallett Leadership monthly. It’s just one email a month to support you in becoming and continuing to be an authentic leader. That’s it for today. Thanks for tuning in, and we’ll see on the next one.