Wouldn’t you agree the leaders who most inspire us are the ones who are truly passionate about what they believe in? Yet so many people try to improve their leadership ability by focusing solely on the skills and competencies that relate to leadership. While these are, of course, important, they aren’t what leadership is really about.
The foundation of successful leadership is more than what you do to lead others – it is WHY you do it. The most effective leaders lead from the inside out. They are authentic.
Authentic leaders influence others because of their passion and commitment. They understand their own values and strengths, know their purpose, and live each day with intent. They make conscious decisions aligned with what’s most important to them. This authenticity gives them a confidence and resolve that creates trust and inspires others.
The three principles of authentic leadership are self-awareness, purpose, and self-management:
Self-awareness. Authentic leaders are self-aware. They engage in self-reflection to clearly understand their own values and strengths. They focus on who they are rather than what they are not.
Purpose. Authentic leaders have clear purpose and live each day with intention. They know the mark they want to leave on the world.
Self-management. Authentic leaders practice self-management. They engage in activities that support their purpose and refrain from those that do not. Their purpose is clear to others as a result of how they live their lives.
Leading from the inside out means that what people see on the outside matches who you are on the inside. You are clear about your values and purpose, and live with intent. You make decisions each day that support the life you want to live and the legacy you want to leave behind, empowering others to do the same – and that’s what leadership is really about.
Jene Kapela, Ed.D.
You can contact Jene at firstname.lastname@example.org.