Authentic Leadership

by Noelle Mills

True leadership happens when you are able to look beyond personal tasks, needs and desires, and into the hearts and needs of those who are under your leadership. Often times as leaders, what is prioritized most is the daunting and seemingly never-ending day to day tasks. These are things that MUST be done in order to keep your place of business running...so they must always come first and take highest priority right?!? WRONG!

If we never prioritize time to simply sit and connect with our team members, then we are missing out on enormous opportunities to scratch the surface of who they are and what they are capable of contributing to your team. It is in what can seem like "inefficient" or "unproductive" conversations that true authenticity and buy in occurs with team members.

This is not as daunting as it seems. Its quite easy in fact. Its as simple as getting to know your employees for more than what they are just contributing to your business's bottom line. But heres the catch...its also letting them get to know you too! Ask about their hobbies, dreams and favorite TV shows. Do you know the names of their children and what they like to do on the weekends? What is their favorite snack food or their Starbucks order? And then, scratching a little deeper...have they ever experienced deep loss or pain? Could that be the reason there are certain patterns in their behavior that seem to hinder them from performing to the best of their ability?

Until you are able to get to know your team on a level that is more than surface or only work performance driven, you will never get to experience authentic leadership and team buy in. It's in the ugly, heart-wrenching, or often make you cry funny NON-business conversations that team and culture buy-in actually happen.

Be real. And let your team be real. That is authenticity. 

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