“Authenticity is about imperfection. And authenticity is a very human quality. To be authentic is to be at peace with your imperfections. The great leaders are not the strongest, they are the ones who are honest about their weaknesses. The great leaders are not the smartest; they are the ones who admit how much they don’t know. The great leaders can’t do everything; they are the ones who look to others to help them. Great leaders don’t see themselves as great; they see themselves as human.”
- Simon Sinek
I grew up believing that leadership was about showing no fear (or at least limited fear) and welding power over the people, the situations and the places that surrounded you. I'm not entirely sure how I developed this viewpoint, because it certainly wasn't from either of my parents. In fact, other than the fact that my mother (hi, mom) is known for wanting things done a particular way, neither of my parents were fearless or welded their leadership with a strong desire to control. Looking back, I'd say that as kids, my brother and I were encouraged to think for ourselves. To discuss, study and challenge the status quo. It was a regular Sunday afternoon occurrence. Roast beef, potatoes, carrots and a little discussion about the topic du jour.
But this idea that leaders showed little feeling or connection - that power equated to showing as little feeling as possible, persisted. Relentlessly. Until about six months ago. And then I became quite human, all at once.
I was bluntly reminded that my goal for authenticity was, in fact, inauthentic if I was hiding who I was or wanted to be. So I've learned - or perhaps I am learning, again (and again and again) - and I'm daily embracing my humanity, my faith, my fear, my kindness, curiosity, vivaciousness and love.