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How authentic are you as a leader?

EKG Pulse Graph with Glowing Blue LineOur reader poll today asks: How authentic are you as a leader?

– Extremely – Everyone knows pretty much everything about who I am: 28%
– Very – My team knows the “true” me with a few exceptions: 54%
– Kind of – My team knows me but not as well as they could:  13%
– Not very – I tend to wear a “work face” most of the time: 3%
– Not at all – I’m a totally different person at work than who I really am: 1%

Show them the real you. Authenticity boils down to stripping away pretenses and making yourself vulnerable. Until your people know the real you, they won’t fully trust you. Take a risk. Share something personal. Tell them about a time you failed, things you’re afraid of, and what you feel strongly about. Don’t let them walk around thinking you believe you’re infallible because we all know every one of us has flaws and failings. Strip out the buzzwords and eliminate the “corporate aura” if you want to make powerful connections with your team members. If you’re afraid to try this, start small. Tell them about a failure and see how the conversation goes. It’ll be more impactful and hurt less than you think.

Do you agree with these poll results? Let us know in the comments below!

Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC

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These results were originally a SmartPulse poll in SmartBrief on Leadership which tracks feedback from more than 210,000 business leaders. Get smarter on leadership and sign up for the SmartBrief on Leadership e-newsletter.

4 Responses to “How authentic are you as a leader?”

  1. Joel says:

    With vulnerability comes relatability. Too many people are afraid to show who they really are or to make mistakes when they perceive people are watching. In reality, they are hindering themselves as leaders because people follow “real” people. If they see your struggles they will tell themselves that struggles are ok because even their leader struggles.

  2. Charles says:

    It is very important for a leader to communicate ethically to its followers in order to get credit and influence people. I will take the example of a national hero in France: Charles de Gaulle who is an incontestable leader and hero in France during the 2nd World War. His leadership communication was reamarkable and has to be a model for our nowadays leaders. He had the power to bring thousands of French citizens to fight against the oppression of the Germans joining their forces to the British. His communication was ethical, he was fighting for the liberty. It is complicate to say that this personality exhibits any of the qualities of the Ethic of Care. “In the past few decades, the ethics of care has developed as promising alternative to the dominant moral theories that have been involved during the two previous centuries” (Ethics in human communication, P.204). His style of communication through the radio, his voice tone, his motivation, and his confidence allow his to have influence on his followers and made him a leader. Even in the nowadays French society, Charles de Gaulle is still considered as one of our best heroes. I even inherit his first name: Charles. Several laws that he put in place at his time are still available today. in my opinion, without this leader, France would not be the country that it is today. He developed a force in the country and the French mentalities to never give up.

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