Authentic Leadership Insights (Self-Awareness)

Photo: Jeff Davis

Mastering the skills of authentic leadership is an essential part to achieving prosperity and helping others. Here are some keys to keep in mind as you hone your leadership prowess:

Be Vulnerable

Be vulnerable and show your true self to the world. Authentic leaders do not wear a mask. Do not be afraid to show your true self for the world – to be truly authentically you – because that is what will connect with others and help them.

Be True to Your Word

Be true to your word. Not being true to your word – making promises and not keeping them – has become so incredibly normal in our society that no one thinks twice about someone who blows somebody else off. But I'm here to tell you that authentic leadership is about being true to your word. If you make a promise to somebody, keep that promise. If you tell someone you're going to do something, follow through on what you say you'll do.

Life happens to all of us and we all make mistakes. If something comes up that does not allow you to fulfill your promise to somebody, go to that person. Tell them what happened, why you can't fulfill that promise, and then do something to make the situation better. There's nothing worse for your credibility than blowing somebody off in regards to a promise you've made and not telling them why you did that. It's absolutely essential to be true to your word; this is a huge part of authentic leadership.

Encourage Others

Make it a point to encourage other people. Have people think of you as the most encouraging person they know. We live in a society that constantly puts other people down, but the authentic leader will uplift and inspire other people. Small people make other people feel small, but big people will lift other people up and help them get to that next level.

Seek Feedback

The next key is to seek feedback from other people. Make sure you're seeking the right kind of feedback, good feedback from trusted friends and colleagues, but never be afraid to get feedback from others. A lot of the authentic leaders, like the icons and politicians that I interviewed, are constantly getting feedback from people they trust and respect to help elevate their game to the next level. Let go of the feedback that doesn't apply to you, let go of the feedback that doesn't make sense, but never be afraid to get feedback from other people.

Have No Hidden Agenda

It’s important to have no hidden agenda. Yes, making money is important, but there's something that comes above making money: genuinely serving somebody and genuinely caring from the bottom of your heart. We live in a society where so many people are all about making the money. Yes, we have to pay the bills, we have to ask for what we want, and we have to go for that big business deal. But having no hidden agenda means you're not trying to con people and you're not all about the money. There's something higher than money that motivates you to do what you do. It might be helping alleviate a big problem in society, caring for a certain group of people, or helping solve a situation, but there's something that comes above the money that the authentic leader will use to make a huge positive difference in the world.

Do What’s Right For You Even When Other People Don’t Agree

Do what's right for you even when other people don't agree with your decision. Do what's right for your situation even if other people do not agree. Always be respectful and always be kind, but if someone does not agree with what you're doing, still do what's right for you. Doing what’s right for you does not mean the whole world is going to follow you, agree with you, or even necessarily like you for what you're doing. Sometimes you have to do what's hard. Sometimes you have to be true to you even when the room is empty and no one supports you. That is authentic leadership.

Create Leaders in Others

Leadership is about creating leaders in others, not about getting people to follow you. Yes, it's awesome to have people follow you on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and all those platforms, but ultimately you're getting them to become a leader themselves.

Don’t Judge Others

Authentic leaders don't judge others. They know you never know what someone else is going through. There's a difference between making an observation and making a judgment. We all need to improve our things; I need to improve upon things, just like everybody else. If you observe something that someone needs to improve upon it's okay to give them constructive feedback if it helps them get to the next level. But authentic leaders do not judge others in a destructive manner. Judging others does no good for any of the parties involved.

Detach Your Self-Worth From the Outside World

Authentic leaders know their self-worth does not depend on the outside world and external circumstances. Leaders, especially the authentic ones, derive their self-worth from inside their own heart and soul.

You Are That Which You Seek

You already are it. The billionaire, the two Senators, the New York Times bestselling authors, the icons, the world-renowned leaders that I directly connected with, interviewed, and featured in this book all said in their own unique way that you already are that which you seek. If you're not already experiencing what you want and desire, all that it means is that you haven't yet tapped into those parts of yourself that are already there.

My book The Power of Authentic Leadership will show you how to tap into those parts of yourself: to face reality directly as it is, to combine different skills, to identify your core values, to walk alone if you have to as walking alone is better than walking with fake friends, and much, much more. Everything I've said here is only the very tip of the iceberg. To take a deep dive into achieving prosperity, becoming an authentic leader, and helping people in the way you were meant to help people, check out my new book, The Power of Authentic Leadership: Activating the 13 Keys to Achieving Prosperity Through Authenticity. I will see you at the Mountaintop.

The Power of Authentic Leadership is now available for free on Kindle Wednesday, June 21st through Friday, June 23rd.

See you at the Mountaintop,

Jeff Davis

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This post first appeared on on June 21st, 2017.

Jeff Davis
Jeff Davis is a professional speaker and the author of several books. He has done keynote speeches internationally and is a sought-after expert on self-leadership, anti-bullying, and overcoming adversity. Jeff frequently speaks to high schools, colleges, nonprofits, organizations, associations, conferences, and businesses. He’s been to five different continents and has a Master’s degree from Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. He also did a well-received TEDx talk in New York City.