To be judged as an authentic leader, your walk and talk must be aligned.
We are the most documented generation. What our goals are and what we had for breakfast is on a searchable index somewhere online.
Even if you are not actively doing the documentation, every aspect of our day to day lives is on public display if someone cared enough to find out.
So, you might as well make it to your advantage.
We are going through one of the toughest times in the history of man.
You can’t trust your neighbour or let alone be within 1,5m from them.
Social distancing might let people get away without showering but that does not stop others seeking leaders they can attach themselves to.
If you smell, that smell will last a lifetime as the internet never forgets.
So how do you become an authentic leader and eat your cake too, I mean, walk your talk. Who thinks about cake this early in the morning?
Before you roll your eyes so far back you can see your brain thinking, “I am not a leader”. I am here to tell you that you are. You are a parent, spouse, business owner and human- you lead someone that looks up to you.
I grew up with no physical role models. I sought for role models in celebrities and foreign teachers.
Now I have vowed to be a role model to those kids that don’t find anyone to model their character around them.
You never know who is watching- therefore you really have to model the best you there can ever be.
Every leader (as does every parent) has their own style of how they talk the talk and walk the walk. How a leader adapts their talk (communication) and role models their walk (credibility) to inspire, motivate, influence and engage others forms the essence of their leadership style.
Ultimately if a leader is trusted and respected, they will have the honour and privilege of making a difference to the people whom they are seeking to inspire and connect with.
It has been my experience that if a leader loses trust or respect it can never be regained.
You will need to show this leadership to your team that deals with your clients. You can lead a probable purchaser to become a customer. You can lead your industry to follow the best practices.
People are always looking for leaders to follow.
That’s why they do business with those they know, like and trust.
You have to communicate to be heard.
Cutting through to someone or a group of people requires many techniques and approaches. Communication is much more than what you say; it involves how you say it, your tone, body language and the key messages sent.
Cut through communication requires an ability to adapt a conversation to the needs and style of the person receiving the communication.
While communicating, tell stories.
People Forget Facts, but they remember Stories
Storytelling is an important part of a leader’s tool kit. Stories provide context and scope to real life events and scenarios.
It places the human lived experience at the centre of any coaching dynamic.
In fact, storytelling is the oldest and most effective way of passing on history and wisdom. Telling a vulnerable story of how you have overcome a difficult circumstance provides a message of hope, and makes you more relatable to those you want to inspire.
Now that you know how to talk the talk, we have to start stepping.
The Standard You Walk Past Is the Standard You Accept
What a leader ignores will automatically be deemed acceptable by everyone else. What a leader praises, disciplines, acts on or chooses to measure sends a very clear message as to what is important and what is not.
Remember, Culture is Caught Not Taught
This is a critical element of building leadership credibility. Often a leader espouses the desired vision, mission and values but that is where it ends.
There must be meaningful feedback and recognition for the people who are role modelling what is desired. This praise/recognition is incumbent on a leader providing it in a timely and meaningful manner when it occurs.
Remember simply praising everyone for simply having a pulse, turning up for work on time or trying hard is not meaningful. Important to separate what should be expected from what is drives performance.
The skills, energies and techniques involved in both business and Leadership are very aligned. In both circumstances you are seeking to nurture, nourish, inspire, influence and motivate people to become better versions of themselves.
This requires many techniques and approaches.
What cuts through with one person, will have no impact on another.
Linking your TALK with your WALK is a key step in building your AUTHENTIC LEADERSHIP Brand
P.S. If you're interested in exploring the possibility of working with me one on one- so you too can have a business that’s profitable and enjoyable - I have space for a couple of new clients!
To see if we're a good fit, simply comment “leadership” in the comments section below.
If you're not quite ready for that, why not click this hashtag and join our community #livelongdigitalcommunity where I will answer any questions you have about leadership and creating a business that’s remarkable.
I hope you can join us.