Lots of leadership values will look similar across many people, many circumstances, many companies. We can take tips and inspiration from musicians, athletes, politicians, authors or anyone who inspires us and has something honest and compelling to say that helps move us forward. However, being authentic is entirely up to you.
Because it’s about how you feel about yourself and your organization.
For example, there’s nothing wrong with having a competitive culture at work. Some people thrive in that kind of environment, and some types of work require it. But there’s also nothing wrong with having a collaborative culture. What is a problem is when you claim to support one kind of culture or behavior, but then model another set of values. That’s not just about “being true to yourself” in a vague, philosophical way. It has ramifications for how you train, promote and compensate people. It can even affect issues like architecture, office layouts and vacation policies.
In my interview with Maureen Metcalf, CEO of the Innovative Leadership Institute, she talks about a “harmonic vibrancy framework.” This basically means making sure that leaders are conscious about agreements—that there is harmony between how people feel about themselves and the work they’re doing.
If you’re like me—and Maureen–you believe that authenticity and happiness matter at work. The culture we create is a key to both personal and business success, and I hope you’ll listen to Maureen share some of the important ways you can assess your own authenticity.