“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice.” – Steve Jobs
Leading with authenticity (…when done authentically!) creates flow, ease, connection, and engagement.
Showing up fully and making decisions based upon our own values and purpose creates lives of impact, joy and meaning.
However, think about the last time you were preparing for an important speech, interview, pitch, a meeting with an important contact, or were preparing to make a big decision.
Did you hear any of this advice?:
- “Just be yourself” the recruiter said.
- “Just be authentic” the coach said.
- “Follow your heart/your own inner voice” the self-help book said.
Did it help you? How did it make you feel?
Hopefully, it gave you the boost of confidence you needed to remember that you – at your core – are amazing and that when you show up fully – as your imperfect, quirky, unique self, you know how to help others!
Unfortunately, alot of people don’t know who their authentic self really IS.
As a result, this “encouraging advice” can create negative outcomes that include paralysis, confusion and even shame because key self-knowledge is missing, imposter syndrome creeps in, and a long list of “shoulds and assumptions” are present:
- What are my values? What makes my heart sing?
- What do I want? Is that realistic? What if its not possible? I should first learn/do more.
- What is my authentic self? What if it’s not appropriate/good enough/liked?
Being authentic without key self-knowledge can also create situations where well-intentioned leaders overshare personal details causing co-workers to feel uncomfortable – Brené Brown refers to this as “floodlighting.” It can also non-intuitively cause dis-connection and antagonistic dynamics: “No one respects my values” or “This is just how I am, deal with it.”
I coach leaders of all ages and stages in their careers to reveal, believe and speak their impact – so that they can actively, strategically and authentically choose their right next steps to curate the career and life of their dreams… and thus have the impact on others they are meant to have.
Over 200 clients have had very different goals – from learning how to up-level their leadership in a current role, to finding and securing a dream job, to deciding whether to launch a business and set fees.
Before we can create a customized action plan, we have to know what we (really) want. And, before we can truly answer that, we must know ourselves.
The secret to unlocking authenticity and purpose is through a process I now teach in The Career (Life!) Breakthrough Academy. Below are six prompts to help you begin.
Kathryn’s 5 W’s and an H to begin your journey to find your authentic self.
Find authenticity by first revealing your impact.
- What is the impact you have on others when you’re feeling joy?
- Who are the people you impact?
- Why do you love having that impact so much?
- When do you have that impact? What are the internal and external causes and conditions that need to be present for you to have your impact?
- How do you have that impact? What are your superpowers (hint: no one taught you how to do “it.” You’ve had this ability since a child)?
Authenticity is a lot easier to play with and achieve – in all our roles and situations – when we know without a doubt:
- the historical evidence of our impact,
- our impact is our value – not our skills,
- that we have a unique process and specific requirements to create that impact – and we honor and value that in ourselves, and
- that therefore our responsibility is to share this self-knowledge so that we can find the very people and organizations who need the particular kind of impact we know how to create, and where we have what we need to achieve that… with authenticity, joy, ease, and financial sustainability.
As always, I love hearing from you! How are you showing up authentically?
To your success!