ARE YOU FAKING IT???
Each of us has created an ideal image of what a leader is. This is a problem! Why? Because the image we've created in our head is a composite of the best leaders we've come across. That is, what we imagine to be the "ideal" leader, does not actually exist, nor has it ever, nor will it ever.
The problem is that once we've imagined the ideal leader, we begin to compare ourselves, our performance, and our results to a leader that only lives in fantasy land.
I know, it sounds absurd but if we are really honest with ourselves we'll recognize that it's true. This is why many of us have fallen victim to Imposture Syndrome, believing that we don't deserve, nor do we belong in the position that we have been called to.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is a false belief and worse yet it leads us to behave falsely!
Allow me to explain: I was a junior high principal and in my mind's eye knew exactly what that should look like (a composite of many principals I've worked under, listened to, or heard about). Yet, in my heart of hearts, I was insecure because I knew I was far from being that principal. Therefore, every day when I went into work, I PRETENDED to be that principal. That is, I hid who I really was and I put up a facade for all to see.
You've probably head the phrase, "Fake it till you make it." Well, this was me - every day faking my way through, trying to be something that I was not: something that was impossible to be. Unfortunately, after two years of faking, I realized it was not working. That is, although I was trying my best to impress, everybody knew I was faking. They saw right through it and this created a large barrier that prohibited the formation of a connection between them and I. Here's the truth that I learned: You're not going to make it by faking it. In fact, I argue the opposite. I argue that in order to really be a great leader, you need to be yourself.
The sooner you learn who you are and allow others to see who you are, the sooner you'll start becoming the leader that only you can be!
Here's the Hack:
If this at all resonates with you, follow this sage advice.
1. Buy yourself a little notebook (the kind that fits in your pocket is best) 2. Write today's date at the top of a new page 3. Go through your day as you normally would 4. Have conversations with people 5. After each conversation, rate how fake you were on a scale of 1-10 The awareness that this hack brings you will force you towards authentic leadership!
Rate the Fake - a leadership hack that helps you connect with those you serve.
Jason Hunt is a John Maxwell certified speaker and trainer who helps people have a positive impact in the lives of others through leadership development and team building.