Authentic Leadership: What’s Your Story?

December 29, 2013 | Posted in Leadership | By

We each have a unique story to tell. Our authentic story, lived out in a real way, gives us tremendous influence to make a lasting impact on others.

Think about this for a moment.

As individuals, God has equipped each of us with a unique mix of skills & abilities, a distinctive personality & behavior, and certain passions & desires. These things have been given to us as a “tool belt” by God to use in this life. Our “tool belt” equips us with the tools necessary to accomplish our purpose in life. In addition, the “experiences” we encounter also give us a very unique perspective in order to share our stories with others. The good, bad and even ugly experiences in our life come together to help shape our authentic story.

Romans 8:28 and Ephesians 2:10 from the bible remind us that God works for good in all things for those who love him, and also that we have been created in Christ Jesus long ago for His purposes to do good works.

By sharing our authentic story or “experiences”, as well as the wisdom learned from them, we find a valuable way to influence, inspire, develop and serve others.

What is your story?

Our “tool belt” and “experiences” come together to shape who and what we are under Christ. In fact, we really are a mix of these elements; it is the combination of these items that shape our authentic story. The trick is to understand these things in an intimate and vulnerable manner. This is what it means to be Self-Aware. Self-Awareness, or the understanding of one’s self to an intimate and vulnerable extent, is the beginning to authentic, influential leadership.

As a young professional growing up, many times I tried to mimic others whom I perceived to be successful in life or business. I found that while this process revealed a wonderful amount of insight and knowledge, I always seemed out of place. Often times I found this was a mistake, I would end up mimicking something that I was not. I felt like I was constantly trying on clothes that did not fit quite right.

What resulted was a realization that I needed to spend time focusing my efforts on understanding “Who I Was”; this included an intimate understanding of my “tool belt” and what my life “experiences” meant.

God has created each of us to be unique. When we try to act as how we see others, the result will not be authentic. In fact, when your leadership is perceived as unauthentic, the results will not build trust, nor will it provide meaning and purpose for your life.

There are two important concepts which are vital for leaders to understand: (1) Unauthentic leadership does not last, and (2) Self-awareness is the beginning for discovering authentic leadership.

Authenticity is a key trait for developing as an influential leader. Now, as a higher education administrator, and someone who spends a great deal of time with college students, I intentionally encourage others to discover and understand who they are.

Taking time to discover your “tool belt” and “experiences before God will lead to a greater understanding of “Who you Are”. Furthermore, this will lead you to help discover what your purpose in life is, which is tied to your authentic and unique story that you can share with others.

One of the reasons for building this website and blog was to encourage others to discover their “tool belt” as well as what life “experiences” make up who they are. When we use our “tool belt” and “experiences” in the way they are intended, God will use our life in a tremendous way to influence others and for making a lasting impact.

I would like to invite you to take check out our page: Finding Purpose

This page offers a variety of different assessments which have been put together to aide you in discovering your “tool belt”. Complete these assessments and then record your personal results from each of them. Additionally, I suggest taking time to map out the major experiences encountered in your life. These are all breadcrumbs from God which can assist you to discovering your purpose in life.

We each have an authentic story to tell, what’s yours?

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