Authenticity is about being and staying true to who you are. To be who you are and stay who are, you must first know and understand yourself before you can be true to that self.
Understanding yourself requires an introspection or intra-evaluation. This is a process and not a one-time activity. We must continuously evaluate ourselves.
Any leader wishing and hoping to influence, must understand this process: that requires transparency and honesty to oneself. It is easy for us to lie to our self.
In a world where we are expected to be everything to everyone and conformity
Has become a major expectation, how can we remain true to ourselves yet be inclusive? As a leader how do you stay true to who are with all the pressures from all stakeholders? This requires balance.
Self-awareness is the first step in succeeding on being yourself. Who am I? This is not who do people want me to be? Who am I? Not who I want to be (that is another step). A clear and true understanding of who you are, provide the pedestal to change and improve.
We are who we are when we know who we are.
When we know who we are, we understand what makes us, us…what do I mean? Through self-evaluation (intra and inter), we identify the essence of who we are and the components of that essence…these are the values or attributes that make us up.
Values have been over-flogged and over clichéd in recent years from individuals to corporations but that do not diminish the centrality and the importance of values. Our values are useless if they do not reflect in our characters…if they do not dictate how we act and make decisions even how we speak and relate to others.
This brings self-evaluation from intra to inter process. We reflect on the people around us. Whatever values we have as leaders and as individuals must be seen, heard, felt and touched by the people we interact with.
Any leader who desires to increase influence, connect with people, and win through and with others, must begin with self…and work his or her way outwards.