Authentic Leadership: 5 Ways to Develop it


Last Updated on November 26, 2021

Being a great leader takes some skill. You need to know the project inside and out so you can help others reach their full potential with it. This might seem hard, but as you learn more about yourself, it can actually make the process much easier on you. When I’m in a situation where I need to lead, I always remember that keeping true to my values and beliefs is what makes me a good leader.

Knowing how to be more authentic when I’m in front of my team helps me to create a better environment and gives people I’m working with a sense of pride. The more honest you choose to be, the more you will help your team understand why you’re putting so much work, trust, and belief in them. Here’s how you can get more in-tune with yourself to develop great leadership skills.

1. Have some Passion

When you love what you do, you’re going to be much more apt to do it right, every single time. I know if I’m not passionate about something, it’s much harder to gain the motivation that I need to get the job done. When you are passionate about your work, you will become more motivated and can use your skills more efficiently than ever before.

I’ve always been told that if you’re doing something you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. That’s the truth, and make sure that your team is aware of how excited and motivated you are about your projects, and do what you can to ensure they are sharing those same feelings.

2. Have Core Values

Once you know that you’re doing something that you can get involved in, you can move on to assessing your individual values. Think about the things that mean the most to you and bring those thoughts to the workplace with you. Since you know what your values are ahead of time, you will have an unique opportunity to handle pressures that will come when you need to make decisions that are not compatible with your beliefs. You will gain more respect in a company where you can be true to your set of ethics.

3. Understand Compassion for Others

You’ve had times in your life that have led you to develop compassion for others, and these experiences have done you well. We have opportunities to expand our levels of compassion with our employees and coworkers by speaking honestly about our lives. They will speak honestly back, ensuring you know they too, are humans.

We develop compassion in our personal lives as well – we can mentor the young, take in an exchange student, or by having more passion in your friendships. Your employees will have more trust for you when you learn to show more compassion than you already do. When you gain more compassion for your coworkers, and everyone else in your life, it gives you a chance to open up more and become in-tune with your authentic self.

4. Create Lasting Relationships

Forming great relationships is as simple as creating a connection based on sharing a common goal. I was always told as a child that the greatest friendships are built when a common goal is shared. To do this, share your life story, learn a life story and find the middle ground. You might not connect on everything with your coworkers and employees, but it’s rare that you wouldn’t find SOMETHING in common.

You become more committed to people as you build these lasting relationships. It creates trust, even if it’s just critical feedback on simple tasks. This sense of commitment that you will give your employees will make them feel more secure in their jobs, and make them believe in you to help you accomplish goals.

5. Become more Self-Disciplined

We’ve all been there, when you just don’t want to crawl out of bed – or you just have something more fun to do than to go to work, but you can’t let your team down. As a leader, you’re always being watched by those that rely on you for instruction. Your behavior is being noted and discussed commonly by those that need you the most.

To earn the respect that you expect from your team, you need to be consistent with your judgments and not allow stress to take over what you need to accomplish in any given day. If you’re not calm and collected while you work, your employees will take notice of that, and will use it to gain an advantage and you will lose your hard-fought respect within your organization.

You need to constantly ensure that you are on top of your game, and not allow challenges to overtake what you’re doing. Keeping your body and mind in the best condition possible is vital to your success, and this can be done by putting self-discipline practices to work for you.

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