For years I have been perplexed as to why certain individuals fail to inspire action and create momentum despite practicing what many might consider to be the best practices of leadership.
These aspiring leaders tirelessly paint a vision, articulate strategy and communicate with clarity. They rally the troops and put the proper emphasis on teamwork. They embrace the idea of servant leadership – they work tirelessly to set the example and are willing to do whatever it takes.
But, regardless of what book they read and what leadership methodology they follow, for some reason their efforts fall short. They don’t seem to have the impact that others doing the exact same things are able to generate.
So, what’s the difference? What leadership ingredient are these leaders missing?
Too often as leaders we seek to show strength. We “put our best foot forward” and turn ourselves into “untouchables.” We focus so much on being leaders that we forget to relate on a human level.
My experience shows that most people aren’t motivated by our polished image. They are turned off by it. They either see right through it, or, are intimidated by it.
Authenticity gives leaders credibility. It legitimizes their authority. It makes them relatable. Leadership falls flat without authenticity.