Are you prepared as a leader to uncoil your authentic self?
Notice that the word “hen” is embedded in the middle of the word autHENtic. Even though hen makes up 1/3rd of authentic don’t be chicken about being who you are.
Practice Dr. Z’s 5 Pathways to Authentic Leadership:
- B.U. at work, all the time, with everyone you meet. Transform any lingering B.O. into a refreshed new self. Don’t become more like Jack Welsh strive to B.U. from the time you power up your Blackberry until you hug your schnauzer when you get home after a busy day of sitting in tepid meetings getting very little accomplished.
- Some people make their marks while others sign their names. An authentic leader does not leave a trace. Make sure you don’t hit the send button on emails and avoid doing anything that can be traced back to you. Ensure all your orders are verbal and that your staff are not secretly recording your verbal directives for a 60 Minutes bad boss expose. When people don’t know what you’ve said or have no record of what you said, they can’t hold you accountable later on for being inauthentic.
- When you are mad be mad when you are sad be sad. This is called being congruent. Although congruent sounds like something your would scrape off a plate of pizza that your teenager left under his bed for over 6 months it really means integrating your emotions fully into your expressions. Unlike six month old pizza, authentic leaders are neither cheesy nor crusty.
- Cry on command. Say one of your staff members experiences a significant personal loss. Put your arm over their shoulder and console them with your real tears as you think about how their lowered productivity may reduce your year end bonus.
- Model your career after the inspirational leadership style of Popeye. Popeye immortalized authenticity with his positive affirmation: “I y’am what I y’am and that’s all that I y’am.” Flex your muscles and devour spinach with your y’ams.
The road to leadership does not curve around the bend of authenticity. Dr. Z. reminds you, when it comes to being authentic: fake it til you make it.
Picture Credit: Arun’s advice by http://flickr.com/photos/pandiyan/186171830/