People want to be successful and want to be part of a successful team. Too many managers focus on goals, finances, execution strategies, systems or customers but forget it’s our people, who make everything happen. People want to know what kind of person we are before they’re willing to bring their full talent, capability or commitment to the work.
Leadership is personal and always begins with the person we are. People don’t care what we know or what we’ve accomplished until they know we care about them personally. Showing up as our authentic selves and encouraging others to do so as well is the first step in creating a team where people can feel like they belong or “fit” – that their contributions will be encouraged, valued, and recognized. Then people feel freer to bring their gift, talents and capability to the team, make commitments, take risks, grow their abilities and do everything they can to contribute to their success and the success of the team. Life becomes exciting and fulfilling and what we can achieve together becomes limitless. Discovering and understanding our own unique talents, skills, beliefs, dreams or purposes and what they’re not.
As leaders how do we model becoming our best, authentic selves?
Having the courage to bring your “whole self” to everything you do rather than shielding yourself behind roles, image or position
Seeing the “goodness” and gifts in each person
Making it safe for each person to bring their “whole self” to everything they do
Seeking to learn from everyone
Being creative and curious
Being accountable; if we don’t like the results we’re getting then we change our behavior
Taking risks and learning from our failures; being vulnerable and human
Aspiring to make a positive difference in the world
Choosing to not take ourselves too seriously and have fun
We are uniquely and beautifully made. There is no other Shaunna F. Black on the planet with my DNA, gifts, talents, family, experiences, competencies, beliefs, dreams or purpose. I am uniquely and beautifully made and equipped with exactly what I need to live to my highest purpose in this life – and so is each person on our team. Our dear friend and coach, Ann McGee Cooper, called it Genius and said, “This unique gift is given to us with the expectation that we have the courage to live into our uniqueness and through it give back to the world.” It takes incredible courage to become our best, authentic selves and unleash our capability to transform ourselves and the world. When we honor the uniqueness and beauty in ourselves and others then we can then aspire to become our best selves individually and collectively.