Terry Corbell, The Biz Coach
By Terry Corbell
Business Consultant

21st Century Leadership Requires Authenticity — Here’s how



It’s one thing to be promoted into a management role, but it’s entirely another to be regarded as a leader to inspire a company’s culture.

Certainly, you need advanced skill sets – from business knowledge and mental toughness to likeability. You also need the confidence of your employees.

These are admirable traits. But bear in mind for 21st-century leadership success, authenticity is ultimately needed.

To get ready for leadership, it’s a positive step to assess your skills to be relevant as a leader — for example, t0 examine whether you’re mentally tough or whether you engage your employees well enough.

For many people lacking such skills, there’s a quandary. Impressionable people coveting a leadership role often try to copy the styles of their role models.

But is coping others a good practice? No.

It’s important to note that what works for one person isn’t applicable for another. Each person has different experiences, strengths and values.

The goal should be to capitalize on personal traits to develop an original style.

For there isn’t just one right-way to lead your employees – introverts can be just as successful as extroverts.

You don’t have to evolve into a new persona. It simply means improving your focus combined with discipline to authentically be yourself to capitalize on your own background.

What really matters is knowing how you impact others.

To capitalize and maximize your talent as a leader, consider these six  steps:

1. Realize you have a rich background

Start with the realization that your background experiences have already laid the foundation become a leader.

Insightful people have mastered the important skills in their own style. They don’t try to emulate the style of others. They are confident and authentic.

The trick is to become so self-aware that you don’t engage in self-doubt.

2. Do a self- inventory

Remember Socrates’ famous admonition, “Know thyself.” You should write down your values, strengths and weaknesses.

Study what business factors make you lose sleep and what enables you to sleep well.

Determine your attributes for emotional intelligence for leadership success. You must learn about your talent to evaluate, understand, and control emotions.

Then, at the bottom of the page write down your purpose or ultimate goal.

Next, strategize on how to hone your strengths, which will lessen your shortcomings, in order to align your character and values with your role as a leader in order to reach your goal.

Learn how to compensate for your flaws.

Start understanding what motivates you to success and how you want to inspire your employees.

In this way, you’ll learn how to use your strengths to your advantage – for both you and your organization.

What really matters is knowing how you impact others.

3. Develop your communication skills

Each situation during your day requires a different approach. You must be adaptable. For instance, your one-on-one approach will different from giving a speech to your team.

But in each situation, know that your employees like predictability and stability. In any situation, they should be able to spot your consistency in personality.

4. Keep confidences

It’s one thing to be open and transparent. But many situations require being discreet. That means being tactful and withholding inappropriate specifics.

When in doubt before speaking or writing, ask yourself: “Will this be productive to convey my values and help me reach my objectives?”

Often times, you’ll find the answer is no.

5. Confidently act on your strengths

To enhance the welfare of your business, capitalizing on your strengths sometimes means being inclusionary on your business challenges. People who deliver bad news well have the right traits.

For instance, as an extrovert, sometimes you’ll need to compensate for your flaws by getting others involved in certain situations.

If you’re too direct and perceived as a Hitler, get others involved in the process. This is critical if it’s important to boost the morale of your staff.

On the other hand, if you’re introverted by nature, enlist the capabilities of others to implement and convey drastic measures such as in cutting expenses or laying-off of workers.

6. Monitor your staff with confidence

Being a leader – acting for the organization’s overall welfare – means you’re not always going to make popular decisions.

Confident executives are at ease in getting staff input or feedback. Again, they don’t engage in self-doubt.

They promote success if they continually focus on the right approach to benefit the business but manage their employees with dignity and respect.

Be empathetic to negative feedback. But do what’s ultimately right.

Not everyone will be happy, but the majority of valued employees will be understand the valid reasons and will be accepting of the process.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related leadership resources:

5 Top Leadership Philosophies in Business Management — From Seattle to Singapore, top managers show leadership by coaching their teams to success. They accomplish goals with five habitual philosophies.

Mindset, Best Practices in Strategic Leadership for Growth — Whatever your situation in pursuing growth, the mindset and best practices in strategic leadership means maintaining a delicate balance – preparing for details and keeping an open mind regarding business uncertainty.

As Trustworthy Leaders, Great Bosses Have 5 Traits — Trust, or lack of it, is an obstacle to leadership. It’s a mega issue in America. It’s reached crisis proportions. Published polls show Americans distrust their political leaders, journalists and CEOs. So it’s obvious there are countless missed opportunities in politics, the news media and business. A Stanford professor provides solutions.

7 Thought Leadership Tactics for Strong Performance — For a company to achieve strong performance, its culture and employees must be aligned with business strategy to provide value. But more and more, it seems employees can’t even articulate business strategy. Therefore, management must identify and communicate effective programs that are aligned with employee behavior in order to blaze new paths and fuel business growth.

Leadership: How Leaders Employ 11 Strengths to Grow Businesses — Ascension to the C-suite doesn’t automatically qualify an executive as a leader. Leaders have 11 strengths that enable them to manage their companies for greater effectiveness and elasticity despite a fast-changing marketplace.

“Don’t find fault, find a remedy.”

-Henry Ford


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





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Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.