- Effective leaders live an AUTHENTIC life. They know what their values and opinions are and practice them both in and outside of their workplace. Self-awareness is their hallmark. They can speak to many topics because they are engaged in the working knowledge of their preferred practices. Authenticity is challenging at first until recognized as a value because it feels vulnerable.
- Effective leaders FLEX to their audience without jeopardizing their beliefs. They use their emotional intelligence to adjust their presentations according to a targeted need. They demonstrate the importance of giving and receiving effective messages.
- Effective leaders are CONGRUENT. They walk their own talk. Leaders who do what they say they and behave congruently within their personal value systems (which by definition mesh with that of their employer) have the largest overall impact on an organization.
- Effective leaders DEFINE their own workplace SATISFACTION. Some work for reasons like career mobility, location, pay rates, duties, responsibilities, and their perception of enjoyable work. Others might stay for healthcare, a retirement plan, and fear of change. They know how to value where they work and why it is a strength. They pay their workplace enjoyment forward because they only want to work with the best and like-minded people.
- Effective leaders work toward increasing staff RETENTION. They demonstrate their workplace culture to new hires as well as seasoned staff and customers by being welcoming. They promote and enhance engagement and retain staff longer resulting in a better safety record, and fewer sick days used. They successfully role model the mission and vision statements to others.
- Effective leaders are VISIBLE within their organization. Employees look to leadership to see how walking the talk is practiced in their organization. They want to see what they have been taught in action. Employees sometimes seek affirmation that expectations are truly practiced before they commit to practicing the appropriate behaviors themselves. When unsure of their own beliefs, new (and some established) employees seek cues how the lessons they have learned are put into practice.
- Effective leaders ESTABLISH NORMS within their individual teams. They help their team define and reinforce group norms. They realize different parts within the organization have acceptable modes of practice and support their teams in following their individual and sometimes informal rules.
- Effective leaders take the time to develop RAPPORT with all others both in and out of the workplace. They have genuine, sincere, and authentic relationships with others and know it is the cornerstone of their success. Customers, co-workers, managers, teammates and leaders all benefit from the relationships established as it shows and appreciation for diversity so others can feel safe while being their true selves.
Leaders who accept their own limitations and find out what they don’t know demonstrate a sense of humanity and realness to others. People can see when leaders try their best and sincerely care about them. In return, the result is cooperation and comradery, further supporting the goals of the organization and making the workplace more enjoyable and effective. Authentic leaders are not perfectionists, they are realists who are willing to get real to get the real work done.