The power of letting go of being liked and embracing authentic leadership

It frustrated Veronica her team never met their commitments. She was forever trying to pin them down for completion dates and complaining when they evaded her. Her clients were also giving her grief that her team ignored deadlines and did not deliver on what they promised. She asked herself what the point was of putting her energy into holding others to account if they thought badly of her. It was time to embrace authentic leadership.

The first thing she confronted in her coaching program was cleaning up her own backyard. No point demanding others meet their obligations if she was unreliable with her promises. She also had to stop being nice, hoping people would like her. It meant confronting the fact that leadership is not a popularity contest. Sometimes people don’t like you, particularly if you are holding them to account. But she reasoned it was better to aim for respect rather than pursue being liked. 

β€˜You need to be who you are, not try to emulate somebody else.’

Bill George – Discover Your True North

Instead of trying to be a leader that wasn’t her, Veronica decided to practice authentic leadership. The outcome of choosing that path was more direct discussions with her team and a platform to outline her expectations. Despite demanding more of them, she still had faith they could handle being treated as adults.

Putting her own house in order meant she could be a role model for the behaviour she expected from them. Otherwise, she would be like an unfit personal trainer giving well-meaning fitness advice. She would lack authenticity. 

It turned out her team responded well to her transformation. Some members of the team who couldn’t manage her high expectations fell by the wayside, but she quickly swapped them out for those who wanted to join her team and learn through her leadership.

Importantly, it energised Veronica to be real and open.

πŸ™‹β€β™€οΈ What does it mean to you be an authentic leader? πŸ™‹β€β™‚️

Best regards, Brian