One of the buzzwords bandied about these days is “genuine.” You will also see that used almost synonymously with the words “authentic” and “real.” But what does that mean?
Almost every definition indicates that to be genuine, authentic, or real is to be the same on the inside as you are on the outside when it used to describe a leader. It may be defined well by stating what it is not — It is not FAKE.
It is also not an excuse to be a jerk! Many times I have seen it used as nothing more than an excuse for one’s own bad behaviors or to excuse poor interpersonal skills. I have seen it used as an excuse to let a baser set of reactions govern our lives and coarser language dominate our speech when we need to be striving to elevate our behaviors and our words.
What does it look like to be genuine?
Consider with me for a moment 5 things that will help us recognize a leader who is genuine.
Genuine leaders practice what they preach. They are not out there telling everyone what to do and how to do it all they while they are doing something completely different in their own personal lives.
Genuine leaders are comfortable in their own skin. They know who they are deep down inside and they are at peace with that person. They are not constantly striving to be like someone else. Don’t confuse this with striving for constant improvement. They are not complacent. But they are at peace with themselves.
Genuine leaders do not seek the attention of everyone in the room. They do not need to be validated by anyone else. They are not always the loudest person at the party. They don’t need to be liked. Yet, they are very likable by nearly everyone who meets them.
Genuine leaders do not consider themselves to be too good to get in there and do it themselves. They are comfortable getting their hands dirty. They are the epitome of being a servant leader.
Genuine leaders are able to be transparent and admit their faults and apologize when they are wrong. They don’t cover them up or ignore them. They are always seeking to improve and become a better leader.
What about you?
Are you a genuine leader? Are you authentic? Are you real?
Are you willing to be brave and ask some folks that know you well if you are a genuine leader? Here is where a “360 tool” can be very insightful. The key is to seek input from folks who know you and not just from those who like you. We can help you get that kind of feedback from your followers. Just reach out to us and we will help you identify some tools and get some feedback on your own leadership effectiveness. And we can even help you take that feedback and create some actionable steps to become a genuine leader.