For the sake of alliteration, I use the example of wanting to know Peter the Person more so than Peter the Professional when it comes to how important inspirational leadership is contingent upon one’s authenticity. It’s not unusual to see young, first-time managers use their voice and body language in an exaggerated way to appear “bigger than life” or what they believe may exude “enviable confidence”. The seasoned manager or executive with strong leadership skills can see through this act of leadership – this unintended façade – and may even invest in their leadership development so they can ultimately help create a collaborative team that grows the organization according to its mission and vision.
Experiencing ourselves through others’ eyes is a fast trip to self-awareness, and that’s what can enable us to tweak as needed. The by-product of this enlightening path is authenticity, and because it’s effortless being our natural selves, it takes much less energy as we go about performing our job role. Many people who have traveled this path describe it as real freedom; not all that different from kids who haven’t encountered the debilitation of self-consciousness. It’s what I call a persistent sense of relief.