Your Leadership Link by Cullen S. Gibson, Vice President
Throughout my working life, I have been most impressed by authenticity (genuineness, trueness, and credibility) in leadership. These are individuals who are verifiable and true to their commitments and themselves. They are often devoted to family, relationships, and work. They are not a copy, but they are an original. They are not trying to be something they are not. They are not “faking” it. They are truth-tellers.
Research has demonstrated that the moments that most challenge our sense of authenticity and genuineness are those that can teach us the most about leading effectively. By viewing ourselves as “works in progress’’ and evolving our professional identities through trial and error (moving away from our “authentic self”), we can develop a personal style that feels right to us and suits the changing dynamics in the workplace. This is simply growing authentically as a leader. We just have to wear different hats at times and be chameleons. The reality is that people learn and change who they are through experience.
Finally, I encourage you to lean on other leaders (mentors) for advice and assistance on particular management styles and behaviors that have been proven to be effective in your workplace. The greatest evidence of authenticity is problem-solving and being willing to come out of our comfort zones. As leaders, you are managers that are defined by your critical thinking skills. Countless books tell us to start our leadership journey with a clear sense of who we are. But that can be a recipe for staying stuck in the past. Your leadership identity can and should change each time you take on bigger challenges and problems. Even as a new leader, your style will evolve over time.
Have a wonderful week everyone.