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I have never met a great leader who was not authentic.

Authenticity demonstrates that you trust in yourself and are comfortable with who you are. If you are not comfortable in being yourself then your staff will not be comfortable in being themselves.

The repercussions of this means that your staff will not speak openly about issues, feel uncomfortable taking risks, or spend energy trying to keep you happy rather than doing what is right by the business.

Authentic leadership is about being honest with yourself and honest with others. It is about wanting to be known for what you are passionate about and standing up for it. It is to be vulnerable and open, so that others will open up to you.

Unfortunately many people see authenticity and openness as a form of weakness when it is indeed a source of strength. As a source of strength it demonstrates that you are comfortable in your own skin and around others. Authenticity is not about being perfect, but about being yourself. It is recognising that ‘my worth matters and I can make an impact’.

From my experience people trust those who are authentic. This trust develops through the ability to know there is no hidden agendas or issues. They understand that ‘what you see is what you get’. They are able to trust in your response and therefore trust working with you. If you want to be a great leader; start by being true to yourself and remaining authentic.