Beyond Authenticity

Linked-In-icon[1]Wendy recently asked LinkedIn’s Fortune100 Coaches Network (F1CN) Group: Challenging thinking about authenticity. What’s your view?

Here’s how I answered:

My view: The buzz of ‘authenticity’ is well-meaning — too many decent people simply aren’t mustering (or demonstrating) the courageousness needed, on a regular enough basis, to be (or seen as) truly authentic leaders. So if all the ‘authenticity’ talk is nudging them in the right direction, then bravo.

Yet my view extends to the belief that ‘authenticity’ not the end-all/be-all that it’s so often posited to be.

I’ll put it this way: If I’m a total jerk, then “being true to myself; maintaining strict coherence between what I feel and what I say or do; and maintaining values-based choices,” as the article suggests I do, then I’m not becoming a better leader — I’m becoming even more of a jerk! And with all respect to the kind, decent people out there, there are an awful lot of flat-out jerks in leadership positions these days. Hey, under the right set of circumstances, even the best-of-the-best can be a total jerks, you know.

So I coach my clients to go beyond ‘authenticity.’ I coach them to be their better selves when leading others — to be their best selves. Does that, sometimes, challenge their courageousness? Yup. But I offer one of my ‘leadership haiku’ to address the concern:

why does the FIRST step
always seem more difficult
BEFORE, than AFTER?!

What Next?

If this post helped you learn something about yourself, then great! Be sure to share your insight with others as a way of 'locking in' your learning. While you're at it, I'd also appreciate you telling them about the other self-study resources available from LeadershipTraction including:Thanks.

- bz

P.S. If you have a question or comment about this post, just let me know. I'll do my best to get back to you, straightaway.


How Smart Do You Really Look?

What do you do to look smart? Does it help? Does it hurt? Do you even know?! Here, from page D1 of the 1/14/2015 edition of the WSJ, is what the research says:

looking-smart

Behaviors People Use To TRY To Look Smart

  • Putting on a serious facial expression
  • Holding hands and arms still
  • Using big words and complex sentences
  • Moving fast than others around them

Behaviors Others Look For When Judging Who’s Smart

  • Having a self confident expression
  • Being responsive in conversations, nodding and gesturing
  • Speaking in a pleasant, expressive voice
  • Using clear language

Behaviors People Use That Actually Make Them Look Smart

  • Looking at others while speaking
  • Standing of sitting up straight
  • Using a middle initial
  • Wearing glasses

What Next?

If this post helped you learn something about yourself, then great! Be sure to share your insight with others as a way of 'locking in' your learning. While you're at it, I'd also appreciate you telling them about the other self-study resources available from LeadershipTraction including:Thanks.

- bz

P.S. If you have a question or comment about this post, just let me know. I'll do my best to get back to you, straightaway.


Resolve to…Forget

When things go particularly well, there’s an cycle of activity that tends to occur…and recur…

cycle of activity

Yes, Action leads to Learning, Learning leads to Confidence, Confidence leads to Optimism, Optimism leads to Readiness, and Readiness leads to more Action. It’s a beautiful thing!

Similarly, when things go particularly poorly, a cycle of inactivity tends to occur…and recur…

Read more ➮