The rewards that come with Authentically Leading people are many. While the tangible rewards are good it’s the intangible rewards that are great. The potential to have a life-long positive impact on the life of another person drives Authentic Leaders to expend a part of themselves in service to others.
But Authentic Leadership is not without it’s challenges.
Helping another person reach their full potential means Authentic Leaders will sometimes need to instigate difficult conversations. They cannot hide from occasional confrontations. They do not dump tough decisions on to other people.
Many people in leadership positions lack the courage required to have those confrontational conversations. They believe they can hide from the consequences of tough decisions by not making them.
Authentic Leaders possess the steadfast courage to have compassionate confrontational conversations. They do not shirk from their responsibility for making the tough decisions. The type of decisions that lessor leaders fail to make.
So do you have the courage to Authentically Lead? Keep in mind that courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is possessing the mental and morale strength to persevere. It’s taking action despite that fear.
Authentic Leaders see their people as individuals, not mere assets or resources. They see them as people who they want to invest their time with. They do not see them as employees that they must spend time on developing.
It is that “investment in people” mindset that helps them summon their courage when the need for difficult conversations arise. It is the knowledge that nearly every decision will have some type of impact on the people they lead. That is what pushes them to make and act on decisions as soon as they can. They know that not making a decision IS a decision and it’s almost always the wrong one.
If your goal is to be an Authentic Leader then you must be willing to make wrong decisions at times. Every leader gets some decisions wrong. The most effective leaders get more decisions right than wrong. You must be willing to confront an underperforming team member. Allowing them to underutilize their strengths is a disservice to them. It can negatively impact your entire organization. When you think about it that way it may be a little easier to realize that you do in fact possess the courage to lead authentically.
The only question that remains at that point is are you willing to invest your time and talents for the betterment of other people. If you are nothing can stop you. If you aren’t then you’ll never truly be a leader.