Authentic Leadership: The Importance of Being You

uniquely you

Your Unique Leadership Style


Imagine walking into a room full of leaders. Everyone is dressed sharply, their resumes polished. Yet, what truly distinguishes one leader from another isn’t their attire or the bullet points on their CV. It’s something far more intrinsic – their uniqueness. In the world of leadership, blending in might feel safe, but it’s the bold colors of uniqueness that capture attention.


Leadership is not a one-size-fits-all role. Each journey is personal and distinct. Think of it like navigating a river. Some leaders are like speedboats, zooming straight ahead at full throttle. Others prefer the steady pace of a barge, slow and steady, but powerful. The essence of leadership lies in knowing your unique approach and owning it with confidence.


Your Leadership Signature

Ever study different leaders’ signatures? We often look at historical figures or political leaders and analyze handwriting.

You have a unique signature. In fact, you have a unique leadership signature. Your ‘leadership signature’ is that unique blend of personal attributes, experiences, and approaches that you bring to the table. It’s how you make decisions, inspire your team, and drive change. Understanding and embracing this uniqueness is not just beneficial; it’s essential.



Steve Jobs, for instance, wasn’t celebrated because he did things by the book. He rewrote the book. His unyielding commitment to innovation and quality, coupled with his unique presentation style, left an indelible mark on technology and leadership. His legacy teaches us that when a leader is true to their unique vision, they can transform industries.



The Power of Authenticity

Authenticity is the heart of unique leadership. It’s about being genuine, not just in what you do but in how you do it. Authentic leaders don’t just know their values; they live them out loud. They communicate openly, showing vulnerability that fosters genuine connections with others.



Consider how your unique leadership style can influence not just your immediate team but the broader landscape of your industry. What new perspectives do you bring? How does your unique approach solve problems differently?

In embracing your uniqueness as a leader, you not only set yourself apart but also inspire your team to express their own individuality, creating a richer, more creative workplace. So, take a moment. Reflect on what makes your leadership style distinctly yours. How will you leave your mark?

Do you want to be a leader who leaves a legacy, who is remembered, who has made a difference? Then you need to recognize your unique leadership style and cultivate it. When you embrace your uniqueness as a leader, you don’t just set yourself apart, you inspire your team to express themselves and bring in their own individuality.



In this episode of Aim Higher, my panel of business experts focuses on the benefits of working on your unique leadership style. Before you listen, I want you to think about the most important word as it will apply to how you think about your own leadership style:




You can look to other successful leaders for examples of style. But if their personality, preferences, and mode of interaction don’t feel natural to you? Trying to “be like my hero” will only make you look like you’re wearing someone else’s ill-fitting clothing. And no matter how nice that suit, dress, hat, or cape looks on someone else? If it’s not authentic to how you lead? It won’t work.

Let’s take an example that will be familiar to many of us—the difference between a more extroverted vs. introverted leadership style. Remember that being introverted doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re afraid of public speaking or bad at crowds. It just means that you get your energy and are most comfortable in situations that leverage small groups and personal interaction over larger, more public displays of leadership. If you’re an introvert, you might want to handle a challenge by talking one-on-one with your direct reports or scheduling a series of smaller meetings. A more extroverted leader might do better with a single “all-hands” meeting. The business planning and thought processes that go into both those sets of activities might be very similar. The metrics for success and the desired results could, in fact, be identical.

But the extroverted leader will probably come across as more authentic in that all-hands meeting. If an introvert tries that? They might seem ill-at-ease or even uncomfortable or less excited. Similarly, if the extroverted leader sets up a bunch of one-on-one meetings, they may come off as frustrated or might even dominate conversations that are meant to be two-way.

Neither style is wrong. Both can be highly successful. But you need to find out which one best suits your strengths.

Some people might ask, “Why do I even need a leadership style? Can’t I get by on good processes and leadership tasks?”

You can. Maybe. Some days. But people follow people, not processes. And people remember good stories, not spreadsheets. Let’s remember that Martin Luther King Jr.’s most famous speech was, “I have a dream,” not “I have a list.”

My panelists have some great thoughts about how to discover and work on your own leadership style. Give a listen, and start down the road to great stories and a powerful legacy.


Listen to the podcast here.








Image Credit: ricardo gomez angel



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