Sep 18, 2019
It's frequently said about leadership that the most natural thing in the world is to be yourself, but ironically for most people, it's can the most difficult thing to do. Why is that? After all, wearing a disguise feels much more comfortable as it guards you from the worry of nobody approving of you in the first place. However, after a while, pretending to be someone that you are not can grow very draining, dishonest and can even leave you in a very empty and lonely position.
We know that the need to be ideal is real, which is another reason that many of us engage in deception. However, the pathway to leadership success is not usually floored with impeccability. Even some of the largest corporations in the world went through periods of hard trails, failures and even starting all over again (read the story about Phil Knight, the cofounder of Nike).
The other day I was on the radio and the conversation was about my life as a female entrepreneur. I did share quite a lot about myself, and I was a little apprehensive about whether or not the audiende could handle some of the difficulties I was experiencing. Could they live with the image of me being an flawed leader? Could they handle me sharing all of my flaws and deficiencies?
Well, I soon discovered that they could. After my discussion, I received individual letters from many people sharing how much the discussion moved them. Furthermore, a few minutes after the conversation, I received a personal message from a previous co-worker of mine who wrote, "I never really had the chance to get to know you before, so decided to listen to your interview and after hearing you out, I have determined that you are a true leader."
The principal lesson learned here is that being genuine and sincere doesn't make you less of a leader; rather, it can make you an even stronger one that knows how to succeed and overcome obstacles. It shows that you didn't resign amid difficulty; that you were able to achieve great feats despite any misfortunes you encountered.
For those of you who may find it daring to move into your true character, here are a few suggestions to help you feel more relaxed showing your authentic self.
It's often said that the easiest thing in the world is to be yourself, but ironically for most people, it's can the hardest thing to do. After all, wearing a mask feels much more comfortable as it protects you from the fear of nobody liking you in the first place. However, after a while, pretending to be someone that you are not can become very draining, disingenuous and can even leave you in a very lonely and isolated place.
Of course, the pressure to be perfect is real, which is another reason that many of us operate in pretense. However, the pathway to success is not usually paved with perfection. Even some of the greatest companies in the world went through seasons of hard trails, bankruptcies and even starting all over again (read the story about Phil Knight, the cofounder of Nike). And, who would ever think that infamous Shark Tank investors like Daymond John would ever face hardships after starting his companies. John openly talks about the numerous times he had to endure business failures and restart his ventures all over again. However, it's the transparency about our trials that can help others believe that they can overcome too.