When you think about leaders who lead authentically, and want to follow their example, you may wonder what you will have to give up — what the price of authentic leadership will be.
But that’s the wrong question to ask because the fact is that when you are authentic, you are much more effective as a leader. People want to follow you.
Here are five ways you can start to step into your natural power right now.
1. Embrace leadership.
People want to follow. When you walk into a meeting, as a leader, people are waiting to hear your vision. It?s your job to lay down what?s going to happen. Too many entrepreneurs, especially those who founded and bootstrapped their own companies, don?t embrace the leadership role.
Some leaders want their management team to come up with the strategy, reasoning that their managers will be the ones to implement it. But that perspective simply doesn?t work: Managers aren?t strategic. And you as leader end up just trying to make everyone happy without accomplishing your main strategic goal.
Have you ever been in a locker room when a coach is talking to his players? Was there any question as to who the leader was in that situation?
Have courage. Leadership means having a vision, then getting everyone on board with it.
2. Be a servant to the vision.
Your first and foremost loyalty is to the company. Not the investors, the customers or the employees. It?s to the company and your vision. So everything you do should be toward moving the company in that direction. Become obsessed with it. Remove anything standing in the way.
Do you have an employee who’s been with you for a long time, though your company?s been growing and the employee no longer fits into the larger organization? Time to let that person go. Keeping employees like this around is one of the biggest mistakes growing entrepreneurs make. You’re doing everyone a disservice by keeping them around — including the employees themselves.
Consider the leaders who create excellent offerings. Do you think that Steve Jobs ever allowed people to stay on his team if they weren?t pulling their weight? Are you letting people slide? You are are losing integrity by keeping them around.
Intead, give them the freedom to find a company where they can again add massive value. It?s your job to bring in the best and make sure only the best stay on the team.
3. Be vulnerable — but in a healthy way.
There was a time I worked with a CEO whose company had had ten straight years of growth, before his industry went into a tailspin. He was worried. He faced a companywide meeting where he would have to share the news that, for the first time, his enterprise was going to lose money.
I asked if anyone else knew the company wasn?t doing well, and he said of course, all of his competitors were doing poorly.
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