By Vistage Chair Kevin A. Rafferty
Are you ready to move away from archaic forms of leadership – the dictatorial, bureaucratic, opportunistic, competitive, appeasement styles of yesterday? It’s time for business leaders to adjust their style to a new generation of workers who work most productively with authentic leaders. I have developed “nine noble’ truths of authentic leaders for those ready to align productivity, quality, service, profitability and in an environment of trust and respect.
1. Leader, know thyself.
The power of self-awareness is the first step to personal authenticity. Know your strengths and limitations, and what you are best qualified to do. Self-awareness enables you to more fully understand why people do and don’t do what you expect or want.
2. Live your passion.
Engage your unique energy for life, expression, accomplishment and connection. Passion is excitement and enthusiasm that gets everyone motivated. Your expression of passion encourages the inherent passions, competencies and diversity of your people.
3. Follow your higher values.
Clarify and communicate your core and primary values. Use your values to make wiser, more effective choices and to direct your culture.
4. Set your intentions and vision.
The success of your enterprise depends on how clearly you know and communicate your vision. A clear vision aligns team members, creates improved communication loops, and helps to remove unproductive behavior such as politicking, finger-pointing, blaming, and judging.
5. Engage life with purpose and meaning.
Develop a compelling appreciation for life and work so that you value yourself and the contribution of others. Meaningful missions help everyone contribute and feel connected, valued, and fulfilled.
6. Be mindful of your dark side.
Be aware of your fears, limiting beliefs and negative emotions. These can be roadblocks to success. Learn to recover quickly to life’s unexpected challenges with dignity and minimal fallout.
7. Connect with others authentically, compassionately, respectfully.
Be comfortable in your own skin, sharing yourself openly and intimately with others. Create safe, trusting, caring environments that allow people to thrive and grow. Trust and safety in the workplace allows people to feel they can be themselves and offer their best creativity, work and feedback.
8. Consciously choose, create, evaluate, and evolve.
Awareness is the key to authenticity. Staying in the present moment allows you to make the best decisions. Be open to new ways of doing things. Learn from your experiences, and grow. Establish an environment of continuous learning and improvement for all.
9. Maintain a healthy body-mind-spirit connection.
Take care of your physical and mental health so that you have the energy to lead. A healthy, balanced work environment sustains all those involved.
The best leaders love who they are and what they do. They look for others who can catch their enthusiasm and sense of “we are all in this together.” When you live the mission, vision and values of your company with passion it creates a resonance with your employees that drives higher levels of productivity and cooperation, all with little oversight and rules.
Vistage Chair Kevin Rafferty has spent more than fifteen years helping clients to improve their lives, solve problems, set new aspirations and achieve their goals.