The Authentic Leader
If you are reading this, you are a leader. It doesn’t really matter what your title is or if you even have one. You are an influencer. Leaders are influencers. You were born that way. You have been influencing the people around you forever. You started with your parents, and your influencing style then may have been a bit basic and even crude but you were able to influence your parents to give you what you needed to get started in life.
Fast forward to where you find yourself now. You may be influencing thousands by the decisions you make, the comments you make or just your body language or you may be influencing random others that you encounter. In many cases you may not be aware of the influence you are having as it may not be intentional, it’s just you being you, no title, no specific intention, just you.
As a Leadership Performance Coach, I’m finding that many, if not most, of my clients have never thought deeply about who they are as leaders. In fact, for most of my career as a leader with responsibilities for thousands of people around the globe I had never really thought about it either. I often wonder if I had been more intentional about who I was trying to be as a leader how much more positive influence I might have had.
Although I have developed a tool to help my clients clarify their authentic leader identity anyone can decide to do the internal work necessary to uncover their authentic leader identity. There are a few questions you can ask yourself that will help you get there. If you want to identify your authentic leader identity start with these questions:
What are your fundamental beliefs about people?
What are your core values?
Who has influenced the leader you currently are and how have they influenced you?
What’s the story you are telling yourself about who you are as a leader?
If you took the time to delve deeply into each of these questions, what would you learn? If you are like most of us, you have never really thought about it. We get wrapped up in reading about leadership, going to workshops, listening to webinars and podcasts or perhaps just doing whatever feels right to us at the time without every really thinking about how personal and individual leadership is and how much influence we have both good and not so good.
Remember, no matter who you are or what your title is or particularly if you don’t have a title, you are an influencer. There is no change that you are not influencing people all the time without realizing it.
Take the time to think about the influence you are having on people just because of the way you come across to them. Are you having the kind of influence you want to have?
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