Authentic Leadership Feed

Leadership is Influence

Leadership. It’s all about influence. Without influence, effective leadership does not exist, yet too many people in positions of responsibility rely solely on their official title, assuming they have influence on their direct reports.

They may have less influence than they know. Influence comes from more than just a title. While position carries some influence, true influence happens with a heart connection.

Did you know that influence can be effortless? When we live from a place of authenticity and integrity with humility, vulnerability and a servant’s heart, showing vulnerability, people will be compelled to follow.

A true leader needs no title or position. Leaders influence with their lives.

As I sit here in the unusual quiet of a local coffee shop, I can’t help but think about a dear friend’s influence in my life. We were friends with a deep mutual respect for each other.  We didn’t work for the same company, but shared a passion for a common cause.

Because of her influence, I’m sipping coffee from a porcelain mug, listening to instrumental music on my ipod for focus, and smiling about the wireless mouse that we both love because it has the fastest scrolling capabilities on the planet. That’s influence.

I’m surrounded by and forever changed by her influence and I don’t even know how it happened.

Competent, caring leaders with influence have the potential to change the world by just doing what they do, being who they are. They don’t need titles or position. Who do you need to be so you can be a person of influence?

What stories of influence (or lack thereof) would you like to share in a comment below?

Thanksgiving in Every Season

Tomorrow, people in the United States will celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, a time of feasting and celebration of love, life and family in the tradition of our country's founding. However, no matter where you reside in this world, I welcome you to join us in the tradition of being thankful for all that you have.

We can all set aside this day as a day for an attitude of gratitude.

To my of my friends and readers around the globe, I wish you all a wonderful day of Thanksgiving. I am thankful for each one of you and I appreciate your allowing me to speak into your lives. Thank you for speaking into mine.

I will close with the following quote. Read through it thoughtfully and take time to reflect on how you can be thankful even through some of the tough stuff.  All of life, the good and the bad, shapes us into the people and leaders we are today and will be tomorrow. We can be thankful for it all with the right perspective.

To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted:
A time to kill, and a time to heal;

Time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing:
A time to gain, and a time to lose;

A time to keep, and a time to throw away;
A time to tear, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate;
A time of war, and a time of peace.

Source: Ecclesiastes 3, The Bible: New American Standard Version

What can you be thankful for? Share below as a comment if you so desire!

Leadership & Management: What's the Difference?

Discussion boards all over the internet debate the difference between leadership and management. What is the difference between leading and managing? Can managers lead? Can leaders manage? Are they both essentially the same?

Based on my experience and research, I believe the following:

While there are differences between leaders and managers, both are necessary and complimentary in organizations. Both exist to serve others. In my next few posts we'll discuss these statements in greater detail, so stay tuned!

What are your thoughts or experiences about leadership and management? Where do you fit in to the equation? Please leave your thoughts in a comment and let's start some discussion!

The Essence of Authentic Leadership

"To be an authentic leader requires you to be genuine and to have a passion for your purpose; you must practice your values, lead with your heart, develop connected relationships, and have the self-discipline to get results." - Bill George, Finding Your Truth North: A Personal Guide

Being an authentic leader is no easy task. It requires much soul searching to discover our purpose and uncover our core values. Once discovered, we need discipline to live out what we believe, especially through the storms of life.

Authentic leaders integrate who they are into everything they do. They are genuine, sincere and consistent in their attitudes and actions because they are comfortable in their own skin, shortcomings and all. They don't try to be anyone else.

How authentic are you around the people you lead? How comfortable are you in letting others know of your vulnerabilities?

It takes intentional personal development to become an authentic leader, but it is worth the effort. Authentic leaders inspire confidence, loyalty and trust in their organizations and in their work because their willingness to be vulnerable creates connections with and empowers others.

Now, it's your turn. What does authentic leadership mean to you? How have you been impacted by an authentic leader? Let us hear your thoughts by clicking on the comment link below!

For help on becoming an authentic leader, feel free to contact me for a consultation!