- Leading authentically involves truly wanting to understand others for the sake of learning, not for the opportunity to manipulate. This begins with yourself. If you want to be influential with others, you first need to know yourself. Then lead by learning from others, taking the time to actively listen, intentionally observing, and interacting in such a way that you are able to move past superficial outward impressions.This process can end in a more complete comprehension of your people, leading to more effective choices and decision making for your team as a whole. The best team work happens when everyone's strengths, abilities and passions are executed in synergy with each other.
- Ask questions. Get to know your team members by asking them questions like:
- What are your passions?
- What is your personal vision?
- How do you learn?
- Under what circumstances do you perform best?
Highlight strengths. Attract and engage employees, then help them develop and make the most of their strengths. Focusing on strengths
will provide personal satisfaction as well as increased contributions to the workplace bottom line. Be sure to validate the team's work and their potential
future impact. Validating people has a progressive power as people step into ownership of their influence.
Promote ownership. Help them find ownership in a common vision. Learn what really matters to the individuals on the team and make that part of your motivation strategy. As they learn to take ownership, encourage them by showing authentic humility and respect toward their efforts.
Emphasize curiosity. Cultivate curiosity and a life-long learning organizational culture. Set the example by showing that you are teachable and desire to learn from everyone. People will follow your leading in this and the learning environment that results will reduce stress through acceptance and increase understanding and respect within your team.
- Clarify strategy. Don’t make people figure it out or guess. This saves everyone time and energy. Giving regular feedback, both encouraging and corrective, will provide accountability to that strategy. You really can’t over communicate this connection.
- Tell stories. When stories are included in your view of the future, it paints the picture of why your authentic leadership vision matters in a tangible and authentic way.
- Push forward. Expect what is reasonable from others, but push people forward toward creativity and innovation in their areas of strength. Energize past the comfort of complacency. Help people see the bigger picture and how they are critical to success and moving forward. Advances and improvements then become a matter of course.
- Secure resources. Make sure people have the resources that they truly need, not just the ones you think they need. Everyone is different. Again this may take additional time, but in the long run the efficiencies are worth it.
- Become obsolete. The goal is to mentor or coach your team until they do not need you anymore, to get them to a point where they are comfortable in their influence and their unique way of making their mark on their work and on those around them.