Authentic Leadership

DO YOU SPEAK UP…
when required… ???

I have been actively involved with many different groups and associations over the last 35 years. In my search for learning more about leaders, and leadership, I have noticed that … what people say … is often different from what they are really thinking.

The dichotomy between thinking and speaking is a challenge that leaders have to deal with. Leaders cannot take things at face value, because…

Most people MASK their true feelings!

Here are some of the problems that most leaders have to overcome:

  • Very few people speak up in a group. (lack of confidence?)
  • Those who speak, often do not say what they really want to say. Sometimes they even say what they think others want to hear. (Playing to the gallery)
  • People in a minority hardly ever say things that may go against the majority. (self preservation)
  • People could agree to a proposal, and later they could criticize the same proposal. (see the second point on this list)
  • Silence may not always be consent. It may mean that people do not want confrontation. (political expediency)
So while the problem belongs to the leader, it is the members of the group who are causing the problem.

Are you one of those people who are described above?

Now that you know how leaders have a tough time to read people, can you empathize with the leader? Can you help the leader understand what really goes on in your mind? Every person in a group may not be that open, but if you can do your bit to be more transparent,  then you would be helping your leader. More importantly, you will be helping yourself to grow into leadership. Also, by analyzing the others in your group, you learn how to read between and beyond the lines. This would be invaluable when you are the leader. Here are some points to ponder….

Do you too play on the safe side… even when you know that it is not the right thing to do? Don’t. Instead be a little more transparent and genuine.

Would you trust people, who wear a public mask that is different from who they really are? Understand those people and why they need the mask in the first place. Often the underlying issue is low self esteem.

Would you respect someone who projects a pleasing persona in the workplace, and who is a tyrant at home? That person… may need help. If you can, then do something for the person, or at least get someone more experienced to help out. (Counselor, guide etc)

When you have become proficient in mapping people’s variance in behaviour and thinking, you are ready to consider moving into the leadership slot.
Within each of us is a leader waiting to emerge.

I strongly believe that aspiring leaders, should take it upon ourselves to understand and correct the  anomalies of the mask, because…. EVERY LEADER should be AUTHENTIC!  For example…

  • Every COMMITMENT (specially in public) should be closed out by taking appropriate ACTION.
  • Don’t take up a leadership role just to LOOK GOOD. Take up leadership to DO GOOD.
  • Wearing the BADGE of a leader is a sham … if you do not actualize the leadership ROLE you want to play.
  • People will VALUE your WORD… only when YOU VALUE IT.

Today’s FOLLOWER is tomorrow’s  LEADER! The above set of paradigms can be used by today’s and tomorrow’s leaders. Follow them carefully and you WILL BE a BETTER LEADER.

Remember…

Leadership is WHAT we DO.  Authenticity is WHO we ARE.

Pseudo leaders will last a short while. Authentic Leaders will coast many a mile.

So next time a window of opportunity opens, and you can say something meaningful, SPEAK UP and SHARE MORE … or gracefully SHUT UP …. and LEARN MORE.

Always use the opportunity to speak…  Always choose the highest peak.

Welcome to Authentic Leadership!
IAN FARIA.

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