The True Hallmark of Legitimate Leadership Authenticity

Leadership begins with your most worthy intentions and personal principles. Your core values direct your thoughts, priorities, preferences, and actions. Your values in action reflect your legitimate leadership authenticity.

As a coach, I have met a lot of great leaders. No two have the same exact set of core values. They are almost as unique as fingerprints. Your values establish your personal standards for what is right and wrong, acceptable and not acceptable.

Your values are the basis for measuring your personal progress of growth, your impact on your areas of responsibility, the contributions you’ve made and the satisfaction you receive. They set the course for your organization. They affect those you lead.

For example, leaders who value people regard relationships as their organizations’ lifeblood. They understand that people work effectively only when they authentically relate to each other in a culture that promotes relationships. People-centered leaders purposefully relate to their colleagues, superiors and direct reports, thereby setting an example for their teams.

Organizational cultures that are relationship-oriented welcome workplace diversity, recognizing the advantages of multicultural backgrounds and distinct abilities. Relational leaders put these differences to use, providing employee fulfillment by making sure everyone is included and valued. They respect people for who they are—not only for their technical skills, but for the relationships they cultivate.

Teamwork is critical to maintaining relationships and productivity. We accomplish more when working with blended resources. We are the sum of our parts. Teamwork-centered employees experience greater engagement and fulfillment. If you authentically promote teamwork, you’ll be surprised at the levels to which people can rise.

If you set high goals for your teams, be prepared to provide a commensurate level of assistance. Give of yourself, and clear the way for people to succeed. Demonstrate that you’re willing to sacrifice your own needs to further the team’s goals and accomplishments. Put your people’s needs ahead of self-interest. Employees will do almost anything to please leaders who go out of their way to help them succeed.

Professionalism is yet another value that sets the pace for your workforce. Sure, we need to have fun and enjoy what you’re doing (read my blog post on why we need to play at work, here), but treat situations in mature and intentional ways. Your moral code should reflect authenticity and excellence. Banish negativity and inappropriate behavior, and exemplify a commitment to giving your best. Authentic leaders embody professionalism by walking the walk and not just talking the talk.

What core values do you put into action? How do they legitimize your leadership authenticity? I’d love to hear from you. You can call me at 704-827-4474; let’s talk. And as always, I can be reached here, or on LinkedIn.

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