Guest Blog by Gary Miles, Director of International Operations at Roffey Park Institute
Being a leader is no easy task. Organisations look to you to solve every problem and your teams want to be able to trust in your ability to get the job done. At times the skills and attributes required of you as a leader can seem like a never-ending task.
Authentic leaders visibly practice what they preach in all they do, they have excellent self-awareness and hold meaningful relationships across their organisation. When Goffee and Jones studied the leadership literature for their book “Why should anyone be led by you?” they concluded: “there are no universal leadership characteristics. What works for one leader will not work for another. We think that those aspiring to leadership need to discover what it is about themselves that they can mobilise in a leadership context. They need to identify and deploy their own leadership assets”.
So authenticity requires you to truly know yourself. People will trust you when they know you are genuine and understand your perspective. But doing this is easier said than done, particularly for leaders in organisations where cultures tend to be very task orientated.
There are some things that we can do to develop our authentic leadership:
Be honest – authentic leaders will always speak the truth. This isn’t carte blanche to be brutal and hurtful, but to deliver messages that are clear, honest and presented in language true to yourself.
Be genuine – authentic leaders are aware of their strengths and weaknesses – and are not afraid to show these to the people they work alongside. This can be difficult for leaders to admit to for fear of looking weak, but having the courage to do this will reap benefits.
Have inner strength – authentic leadership is all about doing what is right, rather than what is easy. This requires an inner core of resilience and courage.
Lead with presence – authentic leaders will lead with their hearts as well as their head. And this congruence enables them to create powerful visions that their teams will follow with energy and conviction
Be true to your values - authentic leaders are clear on their values and walk the talk and their people know what matters to them and how that aligns with what their organisations are trying to achieve
Developing authentic leadership is a long-term journey of reflection and disovery. It requires ongoing commitment and dedication to maintain authenticity that counts with others. But it’s a journey worth taking.
Join Gravista Leaders training ‘Getting real on Authentic Leadership’ facilitated by Gary on November 5th – register here.
About Gary Miles, Director of International Operations at Roffey Park Institute
Gary has over 20 years’ experience of working in commercial organisations and has designed and delivered programmes in Singapore, Dubai, USA, Canada as well as across Europe. He is a conference speaker on subjects such as Leading Change, HR Business Partnering and Talent Management and regularly contributes to HR publications.