The Secret Guide to Authentic Leadership - Secret Five and Six


The Secret Guide to Authentic Leadership - Secret Five and Six


Secret #1: Finding Your Inner Voice

Secret #2: Your Legacy

Secret #3: Stand Up and Speak Out

Secret #4: Leadership and Management

Let's Get Started!

Authentic leadership is not merely about adopting a set of prescribed behaviors but rather about discovering and harnessing one's unique inner qualities. "The Secret Guide to Authentic Leadership" delves into this profound concept, particularly in Secrets Five and Six, which emphasize the importance of originality and inner guidance. Secret #5, "Don’t Imitate Others," and Secret #6, "Lead From Within," serve as crucial reminders that true leadership stems from being genuine and self-aware. These principles encourage leaders to draw from their own values and strengths, fostering a leadership style that is both innovative and sincere.

Secret #5: Don’t Imitate Others

Authentic leaders don't imitate others, as Robert E. Quinn states in the July 1, 2005, Harvard Business Review:  "Rather, we draw on our own values and capabilities, and we rise to the occasion.” He calls it the Fundamental State of Leadership.

Imitating others is copying or mimicking someone else’s behavior, actions, or style without considering your unique strengths, values, and identity. We each have our own set of skills, experiences, and perspectives. When you embrace your individuality, you bring something unique to the table and contribute in a way others cannot.

Imitating others can lead to a lack of authenticity. People are drawn to leaders who are genuine and true to themselves. By being authentic, you build trust and credibility with others. Trying to imitate others can hinder your personal growth and development. We must each recognize our individual strengths and weaknesses and focus on developing and improving ourselves based on our goals and aspirations.

In this fast-paced world of ever-evolving technological advancements, it’s important to be innovative, which often stems from thinking differently and challenging the status quo. Authentic leaders bring fresh ideas and perspectives to the table.

Be your best self.

When we are our best selves, we respect diversity and embrace diverse ways of thinking, working, and leading. By valuing our own uniqueness and not imitating others, we can contribute to a culture that celebrates diversity and inclusion.

While it’s natural to admire and learn from others, authentic leadership and personal fulfillment come from embracing our strengths and values, improving upon our weaknesses, and being ourselves rather than trying to be someone we’re not.

Secret #6: Lead From Within

Leading from within is a leadership approach that emphasizes self-awareness, authenticity, and inner alignment. It involves knowing how and when to tap into your values, strengths, and passions to guide your actions and interactions with others.

Leading from within starts by understanding your own thoughts, emotions, and motivations. By working to improve your self-awareness, you can better recognize your strengths, weaknesses, values, and areas for growth.

Authentic leaders lead with sincerity and integrity. You stay true to your core values and beliefs rather than being influenced and conforming to external expectations or pressures. You align your actions with your values and purpose. You make decisions and take actions that are consistent with your inner convictions and aspirations.

There is a lot of information about emotional intelligence and its importance in our personal and professional lives. Leading from within involves being emotionally intelligent and empathetic towards yourself and others. It means being attuned to your own emotions and those of others and using that understanding to build positive relationships and navigate challenges effectively.

Take Responsibility.

Taking responsibility for your own growth, development, and well-being is truly leading from within. You set goals, manage your time and energy, and continually seek opportunities for how you can improve. This requires being present and willing to work hard and effectively, often without recognition and/or reward. Throughout my decades of leadership experience, I have found there are rewarding moments when I experienced positively influencing an outcome or someone accomplishing something they didn’t think they could. Knowing I helped bring about this change in some way was rewarding.

These moments didn’t occur every day but rather were more sporadic and sometimes subtly disguised. Each time they made me smile, they warmed my heart, and I was ready to do it all over again. Being an authentic leader and leading from within is like the strong undercurrent that propels the cultural tide. You might see a change in the surface of the water, but what is underneath influences what is occurring on the surface.

When you combine all of these characteristics, they become the foundation to inspire and empower others to reach their full potential. By leading from within, you can create a positive impact on those around you and contribute to a more fulfilling and purpose-driven life.

To Wrap Things Up!

Combining the principles of not imitating others and leading from within establishes a solid foundation for authentic leadership. These secrets underscore the importance of self-awareness, integrity, and emotional intelligence in guiding one's actions and interactions. Leaders can inspire and empower others by embracing and leveraging their unique strengths and values, creating a culture of trust, diversity, and inclusion. Ultimately, authentic leadership is about positively impacting those around you and living a purpose-driven life, marked by sincerity and inner alignment.


Photo by Ugur Akdemir on Unsplash