How to Develop Your Character as an Authentic Leader - Lisa Askwith- Engaging Your People for Success
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The world revolves around relationships. In business we have key relationships with our customers, suppliers, bankers, management team, and employees. How you navigate the relationships present different challenges as you move through various stages of growth. As the business owner or leader, navigating your relationship with your management team, and employees is key to your future success.
Not just in terms of ‘getting on’ well with everyone, but in terms of ensuring your business is capitalising from its biggest asset, its people! Authentic leadership in your business gives you a positive influence over your key people areas, such as Culture, Innovation, Business Growth and Talent Retention. People who trust and believe in you, and feel valued, will always offer your business much more than those who feel threatened and disengaged…..it sounds obvious but many business owners and leaders overlook this key need.
Authentic leadership is one of the most important leadership traits as we navigate a fast paced and uncertain workplace, it is also one of the most enjoyable forms of leadership style both for the leader themselves and the people they inspire.
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The relationship between the business owner and the management team needs to be open and built on trust if you want to achieve a sustainable business. You have to be able to have candid frank conversations with your management team and your employees. Conversations that can be positive even when challenging. Trust doesn’t just automatically appear now that you are a leader, business owner, or have a new and important title. Trust is built over time. You are trying to transform your company in order to gear up with the next major expansion in your growth. Your management team members should feel that they can say what they need to say and not worry about being fired. You as the owner should be able to say what you need to say and not worry about the employee leaving the job or becoming upset and confrontational. This type of open interaction is built on trust. This should also set up the structure and culture of your leadership team's relationship with the rest of the people in your company. You want your whole business to benefit from Authentic leadership and to do that you also need to establish trust….this is where you can ensure your business is the best it can be!
Today’s show takes up this conversation and provides an overview of the dynamics of the relationship between owners and management, and its reflection on staff and the resulting impact on key people dynamics, such as culture, innovation, growth and retention. We will also discuss what it takes to develop as an authentic leader and build a relationship that is open and built on trust with your people.
Key Issues - Questions
What You Need to Do
Core focus areas for you to review if you want to become an Authentic Leader
1- Are you committed to Bettering Yourself?
“Authentic leaders begin with the will and commitment within to work on themselves,” This is evident throughout their careers and is easily identifiable.
2. Are you Cultivating Self-Awareness?
A keen sense of self-awareness is one of the most important traits a leader can possess. Moreover, research shows companies that employ professionals who exhibit high levels of self-awareness tend to perform better financially.
If you are in doubt try asking yourself questions such
3. Are you Disciplined?
Being an authentic leader requires more than just building self-awareness—you need to put it into practice, too. And that requires discipline and constant check ins.
This is not set and forget; stress, challenges, and the day to day all risk impacting on your good intentions, so make sure that after you have interacted with your people no matter how superficially, you regularly critically evaluate your behaviours against your true beliefs……are they still matching? What could have you done better, or should avoid in future…..constant re-checks are needed.
4. Are you Mission-Driven?
A deep and abiding commitment to a mission is integral to both authentic leadership and business success.
Look for your driving force and incorporate it into your direction, this further establishes your authenticity. This is also easily spotted, as a mission driven leader is vocal and can demonstrate what they have done to achieve their mission.
5. Can you Inspire Faith?
Gaining the trust of your colleagues and influencing them to believe in and mobilize around a mission is a key part of being an authentic leader.
Those businesses that are doing well, and have changed their direction have mostly done so under the direction of trusted authentic leaders who inspired the faith of their people to go in new directions, or pivot their businesses to areas that lead them to greater success in a very uncertain, if not scary time.
The Paradox of Authenticity.
Don't get trapped, authenticity has to be genuine, honest, and draw from your core. Otherwise you will be seen as inauthentic, and people will not follow you, or trust you.
There are ways to avoid this. Managing Authenticity: The Paradox of Great Leadership by Rob Goffee and Gareth Johns is a short article that gives you a lot the basics for really setting yourself up as an authentic leader. Enjoy the read, and if you embrace the advice it will make all the difference to your career, both professionally and personally.
Previous Episode: EP5 Improve your Business by developing your people carefully and ensuring Promotions are fair.
Next Episode: EP7 How to shift your mindset and fully benefit from developing formal training programs
Written by Lisa Askwith
Director of ApexBRS | ApexBRS, Regional Director of See Global Media, Chair of EGN Singapore, and Associate Professor Cambridge Corporate University | At the Age of Change, providing the HR component of the Global Executive MBA and BBA. Lisa has worked for some of the largest companies in the world and successfully led restructures and change management programs in order to improve the bottom line through engaging the people for success, while developing exceptional leaders who can make a positive impact on Culture and long term business sustainability.
You can connect with Lisa on any of her platforms
LinkedIn Lisa Askwith - Director - Apex BRS
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