Leadership is key in today’s complex and challenging world. Command and control models of leadership are not effective in achieving results in any sector. Leaders who can empower others and bring out the best in multi-generational and multicultural workplaces will be the leaders of today and tomorrow. Becoming an authentic leader requires introspection and self-awareness and a desire to achieve a purpose.
Here are my Top 3 Tips to lead authentically and increase your power to affect positive results:
1. Understand your values
Reflect on your Top 5 values and why these values are important to you. Can you see where each of those values will help you advance your leadership? Equally important is to live those values in your life both at home and at work so you are recognized as a leader with values. In other words you need to align your words and actions to build trust. Seek feedback because it is important to verify that others see you as living your values.
2. Know your leadership purpose
Knowing why you want to lead is vital to authenticity. Reflect on your leadership purpose. For example, if you are in the food industry you may want to lead to supply the freshest and healthiest food possible to your customers. Another may be to provide the best care to seniors to help them remain active and healthy in their homes. Knowing your purpose for leading will enable you to align your decisions with it and to inspire others when you articulate your vision for the organization. A leadership purpose, however, simply aimed at making money is highly unlikely to inspire your team to do their best to achieve your organization’s goals.
3. Empower others
As an authentic leader, you focus on the “we” not the “I” to inspire others to achieve their full potential and to obtain results for your organization. Seeing your team as key to achievement and giving them the tools for success is leadership. Their success and well-being will be yours as well.
Lack of trust is evident in many workforces today because leaders fail to put their teams at the core of their mission, do not walk the talk nor do they have a leadership purpose that inspires others. Being an authentic leader gives you a big advantage in achieving the success that you desire by creating the trust required for teams to perform at their very best.
Clare Beckton is the author of Own It: Your Success, Your Future, Your Life; and Executive Director of the Centre for Women in Politics and Public Leadership.