The Real Thing!

action attitude authentic leadership authenticity character complimentry continuing education control genuine integrity intentional leader leadership leadership development purpose servant leadership serving others teamwork webinar Dec 23, 2020

Through the last several posts, we’ve looked at why it’s so important for us to Control What We Can Control, we’ve dug into What We Can Control, we’ve discussed how Our Attitude and Our Actions play a critical role in all this, and we discussed how You Can Compound Your Results IF you stay consistent and intentional about your growth and development. As we continue looking at the things we truly can control in a world that often seems out of control, this next idea is critical for how we lead our teams but it matters just as much in every other area of our lives!

Before I get rolling with that though, I need to make sure I’ve shared an invitation for you to join us for a complimentary webinar, the first in a new monthly series for 2021, that we’ll be hosting on Friday, January 15 at 2:30pm! We’ll be sharing our lesson on Navigating Leadership Roadblocks for the first time in this format, and it’s been approved for continuing education credits through the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI), and the National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards (NAB/NCERS)! If this is something that you would get value from, here’s the link to register at no cost. And you’re welcome to pass this along to anyone you know who may need access to the complimentary continuing education credits…

Now back to our controllables…

One of the most frustrating things I see on a routine basis is the misuse of the terms leader and leadership. All too often, they’re tied to anyone with a position or title who, in many cases, would fail miserably in leading silent prayer. Leadership has little to do with being IN CHARGE and a whole lot to do with serving those IN OUR CHARGE. A key to leading effectively is serving those around us with authenticity!

I’ll fight the urge here to detail just how farcical it is to refer to the majority of those in poliTICKS as leaders as they vote on yet another relief package to pacify the citizens they’re supposed to be serving that has exponentially more funding going to support their boondoggles and cronies than will ever have any impact on their constituents. Simply said, nothing about that should be viewed as leadership - and it’s clearly not authentic!

So why is it so important that we take complete responsibility for controlling this as it relates to our leadership, and every other area of our lives for that matter?

When we lead the people we’re responsible for with authenticity, we make each decision through a filter of what’s best for them - not just what’s best for us… The beauty of this is that this kind of authenticity frequently results in those two things aligning! As we provide team members with the information and opportunities they need to succeed in their role, this almost always benefits the entire team as well. And when we’re charged with leading the team, that improved performance is a direct reflection on how we’ve chosen to lead.

In every area of our lives, leading from a perspective of what’s best for others first opens doors to opportunities we’d never have if we were only focused on personal gain. 

I’m not suggesting that this is always easy; it’s often incredibly difficult! Being authentic with the people around us can be confused with being completely open with every single detail. That’s not necessarily leading with authenticity either though. Mark Cole, CEO of The John Maxwell Enterprise, says that “Leading with authenticity is not sharing and telling everything you know. Leaders have to have broader shoulders and know when to share what. It’s our responsibility as a leader to carry some loads alone. An authentic leader will hold off information for the good.”

Mark went on to differentiate that by emphasizing that someone who holds back information that would actually benefit others is inauthentic and is absolutely not leading!

As we control the things we can control, a constant effort to make each decision based on what’s best for everyone we serve builds the kind of authenticity Mark’s referring to in our leadership. There will definitely be times where we struggle with this, but that’s why controlling each of the other things we’ve looked at to this point is so critical!