Jack has many characteristics of a good leader. He has a clear vision for the organization’s future, and he helps his people connect the dots between what they’re doing today and their impact on tomorrow. Jack genuinely cares about his organization’s employees. So why don’t Jack’s people really trust him?
Jack engages with people, but he keeps them at arms length. He doesn’t let people see “behind the curtain,” and he keeps his perspectives and feelings to himself.
The problem with that is that “leadership is far less about what you are doing, than about who you are being,” says Margie Warrell in Why Leaders Must ‘Get Real’ – 5 Ways To Unlock Authentic Leadership (forbes.com). As the article states, people crave authenticity. How can Jack connect more authentically?
Share passion. Talk with colleagues about why you jump out of bed in the morning – the real passion that drives your work.
Ask what matters to them. Genuine curiosity and focused listening show respect and build trust.
Be vulnerable. You don’t need to air all of your flaws. You do need to be honest with yourself and others about what you don’t do well. Ask for help, follow through and express appreciation for their assistance.
Authentic leadership isn’t about revealing everything there is to know about you. “Authenticity is the alignment of head, mouth, heart, and feet – thinking, saying, feeling, and doing the same thing – consistently. This builds trust, and followers love leaders they can trust.” – Lance Secretan
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