A leadership trait I tend to admire and encourage is authenticity because it seems to be so rare. Most often, it feels easier to hide behind whatever cover we’ve created, although it’s comfortable, it’s not really all that rewarding. If you’re wondering whether or not you agree… ask yourself: Do I value others more for how honest they are or how they appear?
Let me clarify. When I speak of honesty, I’m not suggesting leaders run around like crazy in chaos – no, no, no. That would be a lack of emotional intelligence, which you will never find me recommending. My definition and use of honesty includes these capabilities:
- A level of directness that’s candid and comfortable.
- A professional degree of disclosure about things that matter.
- Feedback that’s meaningful, actionable and thoughtful.
- The ability to express one’s thoughts, without losing control or being fake.
- A willingness to discuss uncomfortable topics that are business critical.
- An altruistic view of others, not a self-focused approach.