Saturday, March 14, 2015

How to be an Authentic Leader - Day 13: 100 Days of Leadership

Fake leaders drive me crazy. Do you know the leaders I’m talking about? They say they care, but you can sense they don’t. They say they understand the financial challenges of the organization and you know their annual pay packet could fund World Vision for a year.
I’m on the quest for authenticity and I think western culture today is the same. You have to understand people follow what they see, not necessarily what you teach. If the actions of a leader do not line up with the words, people will dismiss the words. This is about authenticity in leadership and people can smell a hypocrite a mile away! Consider a child that you ask to, ‘Speak nicely to others.’ They will be more willing to proceed with the request, if you as a parent do the same thing. I mean, do you in fact speak nicely to others? They will follow what they see, not necessarily what they hear. 
How do you become an authentic leader? If you care, then really care. If you teach about integrity, live it out when no one is watching. When all the high-profile leaders arrive at work for an onsite visit, don’t become someone you’re not. I’ve done this before, and I’ve seen many other leaders do a similar thing; when the top level executives arrive you have your jokes ready, you have the coffee beans washed, licked and dried and you put on a show. An authentic leader is consistent in behavior and emotions.
I’ve heard it said, ‘Know who you are in Christ.’ A leader is surely someone who merely lives out an authentic expression of who they are in God.
What does the Bible say?

Philippians 1:9-11 - And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

What will I do now?
Do some soul-searching. Are you an authentic leader? Do people see you as being consistent in character? Do you practice what you preach?

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