When we think about leaders many times we’ll think about the people who are directly above us, the ones that have an impact on our lives. But instead of this idea of that boss as the leader I want you to think about leaders you look up to.
They might be community leaders, thought leaders, or activists. But what do they all have in common? They inspire us. And they inspire us because they exist outside of the rules we often set for ourselves, they exceed the preconceived connotations for what we think a leader should be.
And existing outside these connotations is something that is available to all of us. It’s something that we need to practise, but by doing this we enter a space where we free ourselves to truly become someone that inspires us. We allow ourselves to step up and fully embody someone aligned with our own personal truths.
Over the course of my long career I have had the privilege of working with many inspirational leaders, each unique and amazing in their own way but the common threads that bind them in their approach to inspiring, energising and uplifting those around them are unmistakable.
While this is quite an abstract concept there are a few key elements that we can break down that inch us closer towards self-mastery, and true leadership. The kind of leadership that inspires change and action in others.
Authentic. Authenticity is about understanding and acting in accordance with your true self. It is not about being a better person rather a more real one. Inspirational leaders aren’t looking at self improvement or self leadership as simply a method to become “more” or “better”. They are fully aware that who they are is enough and authenticity simply comes from a place of letting their true self shine through in all environments. They exude the kind of confidence that comes from being completely at ease with themselves, which in turn allows them to be open to, and accepting of others.
Congruent. Inspirational leaders not only talk the talk, but every part of who they are is a reflection of their beliefs. There is no question about what they stand for because it can be seen in every moment when they show up. This way of existing itself is inspiring to others because it reflects authenticity, honesty, and a strong presence.
Ethical. Inspiring leaders always stand behind their promises and actions. Because their worldview is based on being authentic to themselves and honouring their own truth, dealing with honesty and integrity is second nature to them - anything less than that would create the kind of internal dissonance that would be counter to their very core.
The three Cs. Inspirational leaders are contributors, collaborators, and communicators. These 3 key skills help them truly embrace leadership. They are comfortable both at the front of the room and at the back, allowing others to shine and share their ideas. They will step in when it is necessary, to bring out the greatness in others, and throughout this process they are able to communicate clearly, and effectively, while taking pride in doing so.
Innovative. Inspirational leaders do not deal in the realm of the mundane and ordinary. Their ability to think laterally enables them to move beyond the boundaries of what has always been, past what is possible, and into the territory of the as yet unimagined. Then this magic truly comes to life when they share these ideas, enrol the help they need and inspire others to help them solve problems and create solutions.
Interestingly enough each of these attributes seems to stack on top of each other. In order to act congruently, we need to have a deep sense of understanding who we are, and we need to begin showing up as our authentic self, without the corporate mask.
If you need some help starting your journey to self-mastery, self-leadership and authenticity then get in touch or book a FREE clarity call with me.
Have you downloaded WITNY 2023? I extended the free access to it until the end of this month, so download it while you can. View our FREE resources here.