Leadership Thought #325 – Be True To Your Own Voice

March 27, 2012

To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou  canst not then be false to any man – William Shakespeare - Quotes

I find that leaders often get into trouble when they try to be someone they are not.  Your job is to be the best YOU that you can be.  Trying to be someone else is inauthentic.  This does not mean you can’t improve or shouldn’t get better, but never lose sight of who you are, what you are passionate about, and what you believe to be right.  Everyone needs be true to his or her own voice.

People want to follow leaders they trust and whom they believe will move things in a positive direction.  Approximately 80% of the population just wants to follow someone else’s lead.  They want to identify with that person’s values and feel comfortable that they are driven by the right motivations.   Unfortunately, there is a sense that many of our public leaders have let us down and an understandable skepticism has spread throughout society.  The best way to counter this mindset is for leaders to be fully transparent about who they are and why they want to lead.  You can’t fake this or get there by using carefully scripted talking points.

People will forgive many things if they believe your intentions are pure.  No one expects perfection, but they do want compassion, competence, consistency, confidence, resilience, and determination.   We all understand that things may get off track at times, but will you have what it takes to get them back on track?  Will you do what is required or what is expedient?  Are you focused on the greater good or your own advancement?  When times get tough, will you have their back or run for cover?

The only way to be great at something is if you truly care about the outcome.  The only way to truly care about the outcome is to make sure you are focused on something that genuinely connects with who you are as person and what you value as a human being.  To lead others there, you need a compelling reason for why you are doing what you are doing.  No one else can create this dynamic for you.  All they can do is increase your style points.  You must feel it within the depths of your character and be true to your own voice.