Many business leaders we coach or mentor want to know how they can be more authentic. They want to gain trust and respect in a way that makes teams feel inspired and want to follow their lead. This article gives some insights into becoming a more authentic leader, and it’s much more straightforward than you might think!
This week Uber’s CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, revealed what it takes to be an authentic leader in a few simple words. He says he is ‘dead honest’ and makes it really clear what needs to be done to help his business achieve its goals. He combines simplicity and honesty with a respect for colleagues, using emotional intelligence to judge the right words and actions for all situations. The approach seems to be working, as Uber is certainly heading in the right business direction since Khosrowshahi took the lead.
Mentoring and coaching
Forbes has advice on being more authentic and describes what being an authentic leader really means. The advice is that an authentic leader is a mentor and a coach, offering a flexible style that can adapt according to individual needs. There’s a real focus on genuine communication, in line with the Uber Chief’s honesty, as well as the requirement to hold on tight to strong values, which will keep you grounded and always provide a point of reference for all your decision making.
In a recent blog we talked about what makes a good leader a great leader, and the advice here is useful to help you further your personal development.
Pursuing business growth
According to a recent insights article, an authentic leader will inspire trust by acting in a genuine way, by taking ownership of mistakes, and by showing courage to challenge the status quo and pursuing business growth in a way that doesn’t harm others. An authentic leader won’t trample on others to achieve success – he or she will gain support and find ways to succeed that provide mutual benefit for everyone involved.
An authentic leader will work hard to inspire others and might do this by revealing a little about themselves and their own story. People like to know that the figures they look up to have struggled and worked hard to get to where they are today. This was shown by the public’s reaction to Michelle Obama’s recent visit to a London school, where she opened up and revealed some of her own insecurities. The school pupils were inspired by her story and were left feeling that they too could achieve success if they worked hard, no matter what their background or current grades were.
Taking time out for leadership development
Becoming more authentic is part of your leadership development and comes over time as you work to find your leadership style and approach. There is no quick fix or magic cure, but continued professional development, ongoing learning and an attitude that allows you to continually improve will help you to develop your authenticity.
Find out more
If you’re looking to become a more authentic leader, Catalyst can help with coaching and mentoring to help you find your authenticity, develop stronger emotional intelligence and find solutions to business problems through becoming a stronger leader. Contact us today for a chat about how we can help. We offer Executive Coaching and Mentoring services to business leaders in London and across the UK.