I came across a fantastic definition of authentic leadership recently – ‘being yourself with finesse’. I was surprised however to see that the dictionary definitions of finesse include both a refinement of practice and also a degree of tactical maneuvering.
1. Refinement and delicacy of performance, execution, or artisanship.
2. Skillful, subtle handling of a situation; tactful, diplomatic maneuvering.
Being authentic doesn’t just mean being ourselves – pushing all our good and bad traits and characteristics out there. It means making real choices about what we choose to share, what we choose to do and how we choose to do it.
For me, being authentic means choosing not to buy into the many myths about leaders and leading that are out there – that they are strong, bold and decisive visionaries working 24/7, never questioning, never unsure.
For me, leading means constantly questioning, checking, balancing and rebalancing. I lead on a tightrope – checking my step with each step.