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    « How to deal with all that complexity and uncertainty | Main | When seat kicking is a good thing »
    Thursday
    Aug132015

    The Rise of Authentic

    It's refreshing to see books, journals and blog posts speak about how authenticity in leadership and communications matter. How vulnerability is the new black. That when a leader exposes their human underbelly, their teams will connect, be inspired and do the good work. 

    But what's authentic? Gabrielle Dolan's new book Ignite takes a great hit at it. She says it's about being real. Real talk, real leadership, real results. She's spot on. 

    Real. It's needed because too many leaders continue to :

    • Deliver dull PowerPoint packs full of bullet points following a template
    • Use 'insert chart' or 'draw table' commands to put boxes and shapes in presentation documents
    • Spend days and days and hours and hours of theirs and other people's time trying to get a presentation pack looking just right before they send out the 34 pages of detailed, boxy, dot pointed drivel.

    It's so fake it's unreal. 

    The team isn't engaged and they're not really, truly listening. They're busy listening to and thinking other more interesting and inspiring things. Things that involve them, make sense to them and give them an insight to something else, something bigger. That hefty wad of information is not only lacking authenticity, it's dull, boring, uninspiring. They tune out. Yawn!

    So how do you be authentic? Now, today and tomorrow?

    Here's how:

    • Show your people what you're thinking. Your thoughts. It might not all be finalized right now but show them a low fidelity outline, a rough sketch of 'here's how this could look.' 
    • Be honest with them: 'This may not be the finished thing, but here's what I'd love us to think about creating'. 
    • Get their input. What do they reckon. How do they see it? What could they do with it? How could they shape it, share it and drive it?
    • Share your thinking, that's what's authentic and human.That's a start. It may not be the end point but it's the 'now' point. 

    This is the vulnerable leader. They're saying via their behavior : I do not know all. I am relinquishing command and control, I am collaborative leader, leading a team of humans who all have skills, knowledge and expertise...so tell me what you think.

    Your team, organisation and industry need to know who you are and what you think...now. That's authentic. 

    Put it out there even if it's not finished, final and fully done. 

    What happens next ...now that will be authentic! 

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