Be yourself. Be intentional. Be authentic. We often hear these words thrown around, but what does it really mean? For us, our journey from being in-house Human Resources executives to starting our own businesses and launching High Performanceology required letting go of limiting beliefs and fears and gaining authentic clarity. Overcoming imposter syndrome and throwing away our masks is required to be authentic, yet most of us are all too familiar with them.
By committing to a process of massive, and sometimes painful, self-discovery we unlocked greater levels of intentional authenticity that has led to a powerful way of living and working.
It’s important to note, that no matter if you are an early, mid, or seasoned professional it is never too late to develop your authenticity. For us, we have had coaches throughout our careers that helped “light the path” for us to see things we couldn’t see and assist in our personal alignment…which is where everyone’s personal strength really lives.
Time is too precious to waste being unhappy because you don’t feel like you can be the best version of yourself. Our families also deserve to have their loved ones come home after each work day feeling good and fulfilled versus exhausted and fried.
It’s exhausting turning on and off the different aspects of one’s personality based on who you are trying to impress at the office, right? So, why do we do it?
We do it for all kinds of reasons, fear, self-doubt, insecurity, lack of awareness. We have found there is freedom in living a life both professionally and personally in authenticity.
It is a skill to learn how to tune into your own inner voice. We can each remember points throughout our lives where we heard a nudge or felt we were making a tough choice despite a red flag feeling in our gut. This is a serious skill to develop for those wanting to live in alignment and authenticity. It can be hard, and our minds can be very convincing, but following your gut (your authentic voice) has always led to the right decision or next step. In fact, when we haven’t followed our gut, we’ve been quickly reminded of why we should have listened to that inner voice in the first place.
The investment, time and otherwise, in personal development and building your authentic leadership style pays off in so many ways. Leadership effectiveness, building powerful relationships, and personal alignment in life are much more than professional growth. Once grounded in this place, with a solid perspective, you are able to create new pathways with clients, co-workers, your team and in your personal life. It also allows you to approach those relationships with an appreciation of diversity of thought rooted in empowerment.
The importance of being authentic, especially as a leader, during times of change is critical. Authenticity can help you form common ground with your team and expand your ability to communicate in tough circumstances.
Nobody wants to hear from a manager that they cannot take seriously, have little respect for or, dare we say, feel is being fake. We can all acknowledge respect is earned, and it takes time to develop.
Leaders who demonstrate authenticity in the workplace have a positive ripple effect on the entire organization and often are quickly identified as high potential employees who rise into the executive leadership ranks.
The payoff of being who you truly are in the workplace is generating greater confidence and trust from those you interact with daily.
Authenticity also enables a culture of collaboration, allowing people to breakthrough department or functional barriers and grow with those in the organization that inspire them to be their best self at work.
The modern workforce is demanding this. With more and more millennials joining organizations, they thrive on authenticity. And the truth is, they are setting an example for the rest of us.
When people genuinely understand how you tick, they can more easily align with your motivation, leverage your strengths and therefore support your dreams and vice-versa.
Leading with authenticity is a big topic. One that we are very passionate about. We plan on sharing our thoughts around authenticity frequently and look forward to having meaningful dialog with you about it.