Authentic – It is no longer acceptable to be “do as a say not what I do” type of leader. Most leaders accept this now. Being authentic is a little bit more than this though. There are many employees, managers and leaders out there that are taking a personality to work that they think fits the job, the role or the salary that they desire. In other words they do not bring their whole and true self to work with them. To carry on this act under increasing pressure and in a changing environment is an extra stress that no one should have to bear. Being authentic is about realising that you can be you, true to your core, and still be successful. When you are not being authentic people sense it and they do not listen to the leader that is not authentic.
Appreciative (of self as well as others) – It’s easy to appreciate others. It is not always easy to appreciate oneself. We meet many leaders who, perhaps doe to the environment they have learnt to manage in or due to their own fears are afraid to appreciate their teams and colleagues. Perhaps it’s the inbuilt fear that praise comes with an expectation of more praise. It often can, but it is a great motivator and can cost nothing. Others worry when they appreciate others they put themselves in emotional debt and as their leader they need as much coercive power as possible. Saying thank you for a job well done is a great thing to do and highlighting team members strengths and appreciating them for those is a greta way of getting people to play to their strengths and build the strength of the team. The chances are we are preaching to the converted. When we say it is vitally important to appreciate yourself we will often find we get funny looks. Many successful but ultimately burnt out leaders are what we term “high achiever, low self esteemers.” They use their career as a way of shoring up and boosting their self esteem. They have a deep need for others to appreciate them when they don not really appreciate themselves. This can lead them to work harder and harder and drive themselves deeper and deeper into the ground. Appreciating yourself is a simple way of ensuring that you are successful because of the skills you bring and not simply because you work harder than anyone else.