What is authentic leadership? At the core, it is what a leader truly experiences within, who they genuinely are and to what extent are they able to discipline themselves to be terrific. It is from the seat of this authenticity that they are able to naturally infuse zeal and enthusiasm for growth within their organisation thereby achieving terrific results.
Being in your elements or enjoying your natural exemplary self, demands a rigorous discipline, a five-step process to be precise. They are:
1. Acknowledge that I am feeling terrible. However subtle the feeling, accept that there is something happening that isn’t okay. Unless we feel and accept darkness around us, we will do nothing to usher in the light.
2. Take 100% responsibility for your feelings – The fox and the bunny were meeting the sloth in the film Zootopia. The bunny couldn’t stand the sloth while the fox was enjoying himself. The sloth was merely a trigger, the fox and the bunny were free to choose their response and behavior.
3. Don’t lose yourself in guilt – Guilt is a form of escapism, an obstacle and a huge time waster. Once you have acknowledged and taken responsibility for where you are, it is time to take action in the right direction. As a student, learn what’s happening and ask what you have to do next.
4. Aim for ‘rapid restoration’ - No one in the world can be angry ‘all the time’. An emotion is a temporary displacement from our normal awesome selves. Aim for ‘rapid restoration’ to normalcy. Congratulate yourself for taking the smallest steps in the right direction and over time you will find that you have mastered the art of shifting gears from feeling terrible to being terrific.
5. Commit to freedom – A leader learns from their mistakes and does not repeat them. This is much harder than we may think. Having understood the patterns behind feelings of adversity, begin choosing your thoughts, words and actions wisely. Aim for freedom from terrible feelings and avoid convincing yourself that you cannot be perfect. You will shock yourself to see the impact of making such a commitment.
A leader sets the tone for the entire organisation. We are witness to one of the most difficult times experienced by mankind, I personally believe every leader is duty bound to live authentically and rigorously discipline themselves to operate from a space of being terrific!