“To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; to be credible we must be truthful.”
— Edward R. Murrow
How often do you think about why you do what you do?
You know what you do
You make vital decisions, lead your business, and meet the needs of your employees, shareholders, and customers. You create strategy to ensure your business is ready for the future.
You know how you do it
You gather information from your leadership team and organization. You get everyone moving in the same direction. You lead by example.
But why do you do it?
It’s because the values you hold, your deep-seated beliefs about yourself and others have helped you become the leader you are. Those values are the intangible things that drive your thoughts, actions, and purpose as a leader. They are the reason you do what you do. And they’re essential.
Being genuine is about integrity, honesty, and transparency and using your values to connect with other people.
When you share your values it makes you more relatable, builds trust, and helps people believe in your leadership. It’s a deep-rooted part of our psychology.
- We resonate with others being genuine — We want to be led by people who believe what we believe, because they will fight for what we believe in.
- We respond to authenticity — All of us are challenged every day. Knowing our leaders go through the same things makes it easier to relate to them.
- We rely on integrity — We want to be listened to and respected, and when we feel our leaders are looking out for us, we’ll do anything for them.
Bring all of these together and you create that most powerful and elusive of human emotions – Trust.
“Leadership is about integrity, honesty and accountability. All components of trust.”
— Simon Sinek, Leaders Eat Last
Being genuine means understanding your values
To be genuine, you need to be comfortable with yourself. It starts from knowing what your values are — The things that inspire you, the way you’re empowered, the expressions in your thoughts and actions. It’s how you feel, rather than what you think. It’s at the heart of who you are, and why you love being a leader.
Being genuine means you need to be fearless
Authenticity can be difficult. When we share our thoughts and values with the world, we’re going to be judged for them. That doesn’t matter. When you speak from your values, people listen. The little bit of judgment you face will be nothing compared to how you inspire your people.
Being genuine means putting others first
Most of the values that make us good at what we do are magnified when we share them with others. Connection is as important in business as it is in any other area of life. When we truly connect with our employees and our customers, we put them first. That simply makes for a better business.
Being genuine takes work
Integrity and being genuine aren’t one-off things. They’re vital to who we are as people, and they’re something all of us need to continually work on.
“Fairness is not an attitude. It’s a professional skill that must be developed and exercised.”
— Brit Hume
True leadership is based on integrity and putting others first. To demonstrate that means leading by example. We can create authenticity, give our employees leadership to believe in, and ultimately be proud and delighted by the work we do.