Unstoppable Conversations: True Leaders Are Authentic — In Successes and Failures


Rev. Ralph Graves Jr.

By Pastor Ralph Graves | Cornerstone Community Church

VINELAND — When a leader is authentic, other people recognize that quality and are more open to making that connection.

So, how can you be authentic? Start by taking off the mask that all of us wear sometimes. The mask that says: “everything is perfect and running normally.”

This is rarely the case. It’s common for us to model ourselves after a perceived successful person or group, but this is a mistake. There’s actually nothing wrong with showing vulnerability in front of your team.

Be transparent, share setbacks, challenges and failures, because that really opens the door for communication and understanding. If you want to hear the unvarnished truth from your team, then you need to offer it in return.

leadership lettering text on black background
Photo by Anna Tarazevich on Pexels.com.

The following is one I have borrowed from my mentor John Maxwell. The approach may not be perfect, but it is authentic.

Authenticity in action

  • Don’t be afraid to work alongside your team. You should know your industry and business and never be afraid to get your hands dirty in the right circumstance. Working alongside your team builds trust and continues to develop your own knowledge and skills.
  • Treat others as you would like to be treated. Encourage in public, while instructing and correcting in private. And make sure what you say always aligns with what you do.
  • Do not micromanage. Respect the chain of command and let your direct reports lead when it’s their job.
  • Always listen to your team. You need to be intentional in asking for and receiving ideas and be courageous in encouraging constructive feedback on your own performance.
  • When it’s your fault, admit it without hesitation. Authentic leadership takes responsibility for the actions of the team.
  • Be honest with and take care of yourself. Working to exhaustion does not lead to innovation and creative thinking. But if you adopt healthy self-care, your employees will model that behavior, and be more productive as a result.

Above all, remember that being authentic means being true to yourself and others, and making respect — not ego — the watchword of the day. If you follow that principle as your guide, you can discern what is the authentic response in any daily situation.

Cornerstone Community Church in Millville: Visit today, Services Sunday at 10:30 a.m. EST. Click HERE for more information

Become “Unstoppable.” Check out the latest books and podcasts from Rev. Ralph Graves. Click HERE for more information.

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