There are Managers and there are Leaders. They really go hand in hand but the difference between them is that Managers have control and subordinates and give their people a system to work by and also have short range view. Leaders inspire and develop their people by leading by example, challenging people to go past their limits and always have a long range view. Leaders guide people to see beyond their radar screen and work with them to do the right things and really have others in their best interest.
Authentic leadership is about being the person you know in your heart that you have always been destined to be. Authentic leadership does not come from what kind of car you drive, your title or from the size of your pay cheque. Instead, this form of leadership comes from your true essence of being and the person that you already are and the people that you help effectively.
Here are 11 things that authentic leaders do on a regular basis:
- They are driven and lead from the heart. Business is never about the service or product, it’s about people. The customers are the expert and the business is the service provider. Leadership is always about people. The best leaders wear their hearts on their sleeves and genuinely care about other people and spend their days developing the people around them. As the sun shines over the plants and the trees, they grow toward the sun and so it is to have a following in their tribe.
- They are genuine and speak their truth. In business we say things to please others and to look good in front of the Crowd and to upsell. Authentic leaders are different. They speak the truth no matter what. They would never betray themselves by using phrases that are not in alignment with who they are. They always think before they speak and they come from a place of love and respect.
- They have rich moral fiber. Your true character speaks louder than anything you could ever say and people can sense it from a mile away. Authentic leaders always work on their character. They walk their talk and are aligned with their core values and it rarely changes. They are noble and good. And in doing so, people trust, respect and listen to them.
- They march to a mission. It takes a lot of courage and talent to lead a herd of cats.. It takes faith and courage to be a visionary and it takes a lot of inner strength to do what you think is right and what you are passionate about even though it may not be easy. And because we live in a world where so many people fight the path of least resistance that authentic leadership is all about taking the road less traveled and doing what is right.
- They create and build communities. Many people feel a disconnect between their communities. The community of marriage, work, family, social. One of the primary things that people are looking for in their work experience is a sense of unity. Our communities have been stretched so far that we need to bring it back together for employees seek sense of community and connection from the workplace. Authentic leaders create workplaces that foster human linkages and lasting friendships and genuine desire for their people to grow.
- They are aware and deepen themselves. The job of the leader is to dig deep. Authentic leaders know their strengths and use them for good and work on their weakness to turn them into strengths no longer hinderances. They nurture a strong self-relationship and are aware of their value and power. They spend a lot of time working on developing self and moving past their fears.
- They are dreamers, darers and believers. Einstein said that, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” If we didn’t have imagination then nothing in this world that has been created by man would exist. Authentic leaders dream impossible dreams and dare others to dream the impossible. They are always dreaming and creating blue prints that lead to better products and services, better workplaces, better value for customers, better possibilities for a better world. How often do you do this and stay with it?
- They care for themselves. Taking care of your physical temple dimension is a sign of self-respect. No matter what you have or how you can help others is possible if your health is not in tip top shape. Authentic leaders eat well, do physical activity and spend plenty of time in nature and are always taking classes, reading, attending seminars or networking events. They are focussed, obsessed with their dreams but know that balance is the key.
- They commit to excellence and strive rather than perfection. No one is perfect and we can’t strive to be that but we can strive to always be developing. Authentic leaders commit themselves to excellence in everything that they do and know that there are road blocks that they may have to go around. They are constantly pushing the envelope and raising their standards and never settle for anything less than quality.
- They are daring and leave a legacy. To be that person that had it all in all whom they inspire and always live in the hearts of anyone they come across. Success is wonderful and sometimes fulfilling but significance is even better as it satiates the part of your soul that is hungry with passion. You weren’t put on this Earth just to roam around, you were blessed with the ability to contribute and to leave a mark on the people around you. Authentic leaders are constantly building their legacies by adding deep value to everyone that they meet with and leaving the world a better place in the process, one person at a time.
- They have a sense of humour. Authentic leaders have a sense of humour and a sunny disposition. They let go of things and are always a delight to be around and people are drawn to them. They know how to have fun and not take life so seriously and can connect with their people through laughter. At the end of the day, life is short and if you can’t laugh at the funny things humans do then no one will want to follow a grumpy leader.
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