“Be yourself, everyone else is already taken” – Oscar Wilde
I love this saying. It really speaks to me around the notion of being true to yourself, knowing yourself and ensuring you do it your way. This is a challenge for all of us personally as we are bombarded with advertising, the latest trend, fashion and expectations that society, friends and family has for us.
Professionally, this is also relevant for leaders and people within organisations. The newest management concept, the latest improvement initiative, the next big thing. We can sometimes attach our leadership style, approach, language and focus to the next silver bullet, i.e. something that is going to solve all our problems. As leaders, we can potentially be communicating, reinforcing and focusing on concepts that are not true to us or that we don’t believe in.
The impact of this is that it does not feel comfortable nor does it resonate with others. Employees and other people in the organisation see through it. The audio does not match the video in that your words and actions don’t align. This creates a lack of trust in leaders as well as prevents people from truly engaging with change initiatives, the setting of visions, business plan or other key activities within an organisation.
To be an authentic and effective leader, we need to be true to ourselves. We need to believe in our own style, be aware of our strengths and weaknesses, stay true to what works for you as well as continue to learn and improve as a leader. It is important to continue to improve but don’t misguide it for following the herd through adopting a new fad or initiative you don’t believe in.
Be yourself and be true to your own leadership style. It will create high levels of trust with everyone you interact with and provide you with a feeling of satisfaction that you did it your way. A great way to live, lead and be respected for!