You have worked hard for years to build a career in which you have landed your dream job, and now you are ready to take the next step. You want to be seen and known as an authentic leader who can confidently lead with poise, passion, and purpose. But something is holding you back. Maybe it’s fear of failure or lack of self-belief, but deep down inside, a voice tells you that perhaps leading authentically isn’t within your control. If this sounds familiar, I’m here to tell you: don’t give up! It’s time for YOU to unlock YOUR true leadership potential by discovering your authentic leadership voice. And believe me, when I say it lies within reach — with patience, practice, and dedication, anyone can succeed as an authentic leader. So read on as I share seven tips on how you can find the courage and confidence needed to express yourself unapologetically in both work and life!
Identify Your Strengths
Take an inventory of your leadership qualities (strengths) and those you need to develop or grow into to be your authentic self.
Ask for feedback: Ask friends, family, and coworkers for honest feedback about what they see as your strengths. Write these down.
Take assessments: There are many online assessments available that can help you identify your strengths. The CliftonStrengths assessment, for example, identifies your top five strengths out of a list of 34.
Pay attention to your successes: Consider when you felt successful and accomplished. What skills and strengths did you use to achieve those successes? List those out.
Identify your passions: Think about the things you are most passionate about. Your strengths are likely to be related to the things you are most interested in. List those out as well.
Try new things: Trying new things can help you discover your strengths. When you try something new, pay attention to the things that come quickly to you and the things you enjoy doing. List those out.
Look for patterns: Take the consolidated list and review these and come up with a top 10 list; further drill down into those thinking about what you enjoy doing and are good at, so you can complete this process with a top 5. After this exercise, your core strengths are identified, and your next plan is to cultivate those for success.
Remember, everyone has strengths, and it’s essential to identify them so that you can leverage them to achieve your goals and be successful.
Believe in Yourself
You can make an impact, no matter how small or large, and you do so by taking ownership of your identified strengths, which essentially become your superpower. When you take ownership of the power within and recognize how authoritative your actions can be despite the uncertainty around you, you’re bound to make an impact as a leader. Taking one small action that takes you towards making a difference can shake fear off its toes. Whether standing up for something important, stepping into roles with power positions, or leading with new perspectives, never underestimate your power over your destiny. Make sure to use every opportunity wisely; look around confidently at every challenge presented — you do not need anyone telling you what success looks like as taking ownership awaits! It is time to rise: you have a powerful story, an unstoppable energy, and a unique contribution to make Now is the time! This begins when you believe in yourself and take advantage of your strengths to accomplish any tasks you have.
Understand Your Own Story
Psychological scientist Timothy D. Wilson’s report in Perspectives on Psychological Science describes theories behind self-knowledge, that is, how people form beliefs about themselves. The publication offers ways we can get to know ourselves a little better. “Because introspection is limited, Wilson said, other paths to self-knowledge are observing our own behaviors, seeing ourselves through others’ eyes, and examining the relevant scientific literature to heighten our awareness of our own psychological processes. Self-knowledge also comes from developing our narratives. But we should be careful in writing those stories, Wilson cautioned: We may not want to distort our views of ourselves as much.” He further states that “when it comes to looking at our past selves, looking at our current selves, and looking at our future selves,” is essential to “keep in mind that it’s all about the story that we construct and we should do so with care.”
This rings true as you Identify the events that have shaped your leadership style to date and how you show up as a leader. Revisit the past and then move forward to unleash your voice. After this, you develop confidence by practicing speaking up in meetings or even giving presentations.
Create Space in Your Life
Get rid of distractions and reflect on what matters to you on your leadership journey to ensure you can keep going without burning out completely. The key to reclaiming control over our lives starts with carving out space for ourselves. Creating some distance from all our responsibilities and obligations can provide us with an opportunity for immense freedom and reflection. This freedom will allow us to choose how we want to live and lead better lives! Not doing this will ensure you remain in the never-ending cycle of demands, and it doesn’t have to be that way.
Commit to prioritizing self. Think about what it would feel like not to wake up feeling heavy with stress but energized with possibilities. You can then begin to fill each day with promise and hope rather than dreading what lies ahead. By embracing the idea of making room in your life, stunning transformations happen along the way.
Own Your Words
Make sure you are communicating with clarity and purpose. Set the tone with your unique voice. Speak with authority and grace – use respectful yet firm language; know when to pause for emphasis; learn the power of storytelling to engage audiences; practice confidence through body language and tone of voice.
An authentic leader isn’t afraid of showing vulnerability to connect with those around her. It is important to practice being open to admitting mistakes and trusting yourself without fear of criticism or judgment from others.
Listen & Learn
A great leader speaks less and pays attention to feedback from others to ensure their messages are heard. A great leader finds inspiration in everyday experiences by listening, expanding her awareness, and absorbing knowledge from different interactions and situations. Listen to your employees. This is essential to understanding their perspectives, needs, and ideas.
Now is the time for YOU to uncover YOUR limitless leadership potential and forge a courageous, supremely unique path to success. By following these seven empowering tips – from recognizing your self-worth and intrinsic value to solidifying the importance of having a champion mindset – you can overcome any obstacle, embrace every challenge, and take command of leading in your unique way. It’s time to put yourself first and trust that your inner guidance system will point you in the right direction! So what are you waiting for? Unlock your authentic leadership voice today, celebrate who you are, and achieve great things! Lead authentically no matter what obstacles come your way, and truly embrace who you are as a leader! So don’t wait any longer – unlock YOUR true leadership potential by discovering YOUR authentic leadership voice.
And if you have other inspiring ideas on becoming an authentic leader, please leave them in the comments below. Let’s inspire each other and keep our courageous voices alive!