This week we are going to explore ways to consciously develop your leadership style so that is it authentic and genuine. You can do this through increased self-awareness and practicing behaviors that are in sync with your values and principles. To help you with the discovery process, we have several questions every leader should ask themselves (listed for your reference in the Show Notes below.) Then, we’ll review 5 behaviors associated with authentic leadership that you can begin to model today.
PLUS, don’t miss this week’s Take Action Challenge and implement this week’s coaching tips. And finally, I’ll answer a question I am frequently asked by our blog readers.
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So here we go! Get ready to sit back and enjoy the premiere episode of The Nimble Leader show. I appreciate you listening and I hope you tune in next week!
TAKE ACTION CHALLENGE:
- Invest in yourself. Set aside time to increase your self-awareness. Make a list of your values, beliefs, goals, personality traits, assets, fears and insecurities, all those things that make you the unique and special individual you are.
- Once you have your list, ask trusted friends and co-workers if they would share some feedback with you. Ask them to describe your personality, what you are good at and what they think you could improve. The validation will be reinforcing for you and you might even find that you can add a couple of qualities to your list. We are often our harshest critics!
- Then identify and reinforce those qualities and traits that serve you well as a leader and minimize those that limit you. Pick a few to concentrate on this week, then add others as you form new habits and routines.
- What are the values that you hold dear? Your values will drive your behaviors so it is critical that they align with the type of leader we want to be.
- What are the beliefs that inform your behavior? For example, I believe in treating people with respect, whether they’ve earned it or not. Do you have any beliefs that could be damaging to your ability to build relationships as they are a bias that influences your thinking and behavior?
- What are your professional and personal goals? Is a title important to you? What motivates you; money? Praise and recognition? Security? Do you feel like you are in the right job or profession?
- What assets do you possess? What qualities and personality traits help you in life? For example, are you patient, trusting, gregarious, or organized? What skills and experience do you have? For example, do you have advanced degrees, expertise in an industry or profession, or natural talents? What are you passionate about?
- How would you describe your personality? What kind of sense of humor do you have? Are you loud or quiet? Do you enjoy being direct? Do people energize you or drain you? Do you see things as black and white, right or wrong? Are you spontaneous?
- What are your fears and insecurities? Do you fear speaking in public? Do you fear sharing your honest opinion? Do you procrastinate making decisions worried you will make the wrong one?
I am often asked what leadership books I recommend. Here are a couple of my favorites:
- 21 Laws Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell. This book should be required reading for every leader, as well as John’s companion book, The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader. John taught me how to break leadership down to easily understandable behaviors and qualities.
- If you would like to learn more about Authentic Leadership, I recommend Authentic Leadership: Rediscovering the Secrets to Creating Lasting Value by Harvard business school professor Bill George.
- And I also like Wooden on Leadership: How to Create a Winning Organization by John Wooden and Steve Jamison.