The most successful leaders are the ones who not only share their knowledge but also the best of themselves. They strive to put their genuine selves forward without alienating people. They are focused. They are good listeners. Above all, they are authentic and respectful.

Intent on learning about the values, perspectives, and opinions of others, the authentic and respectful leader receives the views of others with an open mind. They are careful to listen and respond with poise. Here are seven keys to how you can achieve authentic leadership and keep yourself connected to your team:

1. Share Your Stories

Everyone has a story. Tell yours. Our stories are what make us unique, and it takes courage to share them. To lead people, you need to inspire them. And your story, when told with authenticity, might have the power to motivate.

2. Be in the Moment

Share your presence by aligning with the people you are talking to. Be prepared to hear different views and opinions. Embrace the diversity that comes with conversations that involve people from different backgrounds.

3. Inspire Others with Your Beliefs and Values

Authentic leaders aren’t uncomfortable about sharing the values and beliefs because they know they come from a good place. Don’t hesitate to share yours, especially if you feel they provide inspiration and motivation.

4. Express Your Feelings

Personal feelings can cloud judgment. However, they shouldn’t be kept to ourselves. To get others to share their opinions, you need to be open with yours. By being honest with how you feel, allows your listeners to recognize your authenticity, mainly when you express them with the intent to spread positivity.

5. Share Your Ideas

Be original. Don’t share ideas that are not your own. Your best ideas are within you; you need to dig deep and inspire them to surface.

6. Excellence Over Perfection

Authentic leaders don’t strive for perfection because they know it doesn’t exist and is, therefore, unattainable. They also don’t demand it from their teams. They do, however, go above and beyond the call of duty to raise the bar. Excellence, on the other hand, is achievable.

7. Show Your Vulnerabilities

Manage your fears. It starts by acknowledging what they are and what triggers them. Authentic leaders are proud of their strengths yet not ashamed of their weaknesses. Your vulnerabilities don’t make you an incompetent leader. In fact, they make you a stronger leader because it proves that you are not blind to your deficiencies.

The authentic and respectful leader has quiet confidence who isn’t afraid to share their truths. They are sensitive to others and unbiased. Above all, authentic leaders know themselves. It’s about being comfortable enough in your skin, trusting your training and experience, and sticking to your values and beliefs.

If you struggle with attaining authenticity and want to improve your leadership and management skills, I believe I can help empower you. I’ve had more than 30 years of experience supercharging leadership teams. Let’s connect: greg@inscapeconsulting.com

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