I LOVE authentic people. People who are genuine and real and ‘what you see is what you get’. People who are open about their fears and insecurities are endearing because they are people you can relate to. Whereas people that act like they have never made mistakes or that they know everything make the rest of us feel uneasy because you can’t connect with them.
I think one of the biggest mistakes leaders in business can make it to try and come off like they know everything and they do everything perfect. Just think about it – if you are an employee with boss who proclaims to be or acts perfect then why in the heck would you ever feel like you had any chance of contributing to their success? Not feeling that your talents and abilities are needed sucks the motivation right out of your job. People want to feel needed and valued – they want to feel like their involvement will help impact the success of the organization and the best way to make them feel that is to be a leader who is open about not knowing everything and needing and wanting others to help contribute to your success in leading.
Some of you may feel uncomfortable taking your wall down and being open, and there is no doubt that being authentic does require a certain amount of vulnerability – but you have to recognize that being vulnerable is a good thing. It just takes having the courage to be open and sincere. People appreciate and value sincerity tremendously and it is that vulnerability and authenticity that allows deep connections to be formed with others. I realize that many people fear that others will judge them for their vulnerabilities but in my experience that is not the case – I found that the more open I was with my employees the more they were engaged with me and the more they supported me. The more that they saw me as a regular person who was dealing with the same struggles and insecurities they dealt with, the more they rallied to have my back and help me succeed.
The best way to gain the confidence that it’s okay to be authentic is to actually be authentic and the more you do it the more courageous you will feel. Each time it gets a little easier. The more you open up the more empowered you begin to feel. It’s like having permission to just be yourself and feeling at peace with that. And the best part is that the more you are authentic, the more you give others the courage to also be authentic and your circle of true friends will grow exponentially.
Have an incredible, amazing, magical day everyone! And be fearlessly authentic!