To truly build a sustainable team, leaders must strive to not only be effective, but authentic leader as well. Jumping onto the latest management philosophy without truly buying into it is a sure way to lose credibility, so careful and conscientious mindfulness is the key to any worthwhile team management plan. Team members can smell insincerity a mile away, so a leader’s first steps are to understand their own motivations and beliefs.
- Truthfulness: Perhaps one of the strongest indicators of an authentic leader is the ability to honestly present information without injecting any ‘dazzle’ to motivate employees. Speak the plain truth to garner results.
- Confidence: You own confidence is a sure fire way to share your authenticity with the team. Being assured a project is going as planned with the expected results on the horizon is something that can only come from a competent leader who is sure of their choices.
- Mentoring: A great leader looks to build a team from within, and nurturing talent from the members of the team is a positive way to reinforce authenticity. Helping employees to reach their potential is the surest way to experience continued success.
- Accountability: Taking credit when things go right is the hallmark of all leaders, but for those who step forward when things don’t go as planned… that’s the sign of a great leader. But don’t simply take the blame and shrug your shoulders – have a plan to avoid similar issues the next time around.
- Support: Look for ways to give assistance when it’s in your power to do so. It may be offering creative insight into a project, or even providing moral support when a team seems down. Your investment into the wellbeing of your workgroup is a sure way to validate your authenticity as a leader.
- Comprehension: Being a leader means delegating responsibility, but it also means knowing the detailed ins and outs of the project at hand. When a team member approaches you with a consultation, be sure you know what they are referencing so as to give the best possible guidance.
- Action: When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Your strength as a leader resides in your ability to make decisions based on your ongoing analysis and information. Decisive action takes skill, and being competent in this arena will go a long way to demonstrate your authenticity.
- Reaction: On the other side of the coin, reacting in just as quick a manner with the right tools places you in the pantheon of great leaders. This relies on carefully balancing the facts at hand and making solid judgment calls in order to react effectively and decisively.
- Communication: Rendering information as soon as it is practical to share with the team is a steadfast hallmark of an authentic leader. Providing team members with the appropriate resources when they need them and not when it’s convenient to you goes a long way.
- Accessibility: Last but not least, an authentic leader is available to their team when needed, not when it’s convenient for the leader. An open door policy, no matter the source of the conversation, is a strong way to instil your participation and reliability where employees are concerned. Be open, and be sincere. If you can’t help with the issue at hand, be honest and ready to help find someone who can assist.
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