How to become an authentic leader

Tiba Al Khalidy Business Coach

As a small business owner, it is your end goal to create a strong workforce that harnesses the true potential of your employees. Research shows that companies with strong leaders and authentic leadership are able to outperform the competition within the same market. A company with strong leadership is 3 times more likely to retain its most talented employees and to have success in their marketplace.

Today’s leaders are true stakeholders in the success of a company and when you are starting a small business or managing a small business, you need to make sure that you can keep up with the expectations of modern leaders today.

An authentic leader is often a nurturing leader and someone that is capable of building a positive atmosphere that also improves team performance. Training and courses can be very useful in building up the skills of a leader as well as showing a leader how they can relate better to their employees. However, there are some initial strategies that every good and authentic leader will need to take on in order to show their employees the quality of their authenticity.

Here are some top tips on how to be a more authentic leader in small business:

Bringing your own style of leadership in:

When it comes to shaping a team and embracing diversity in a company, a manager or business owner needs to fully embrace their management style. Our leadership and management style comes from the type of people we are. Businesses should celebrate individual talents and diversity and a manager needs to be authentic by showing their true selves. A work culture will include working with people from many perspectives and with many work styles. Embracing your own and managing other people and their own styles can be important.

Understand the branding inside and out:

Branding plays a very significant role in keeping everyone on the same page in an organisation. Branding shapes culture, improves leadership, changes mindset and ensures that skills and resources are being used at crucial points. It is integral to know the branding of the company inside and out, and also have the ability to communicate the vision of your company. Organisations need to be able to use quality training and to inspire team members to stay on brand and work towards common goals for a brand.

Allowing the space for self-care:

Being an authentic leader also means recognising the space for self-care. Managing a small business can be very hectic and when you have a small team, the process of work and keeping up with the demands of the market can be difficult too. Creating a work life balance for yourself and also understanding this balance in your team can help you to fuel energy levels and creativity at work. Leaders promote this work life balance and when self-care and proper balance is recognised, employees are happier, more motivated and productive.

Improved consciousness:

Managing your own personality and being conscious of your leadership position is important. Remember that you can create a strong impression on your employees and admitting the way that you feel or being conscious of the state that you and the company are in is important. The best leaders are people that are extremely self-aware and able to stay in tune with themselves. Their goal is to get in tune with the goals of the organisation and to use their talents and positive mindset to drive progress in an organisation.

Offering transparency:

In order for a team to feel like a team, everyone needs to be in the loop. When management is keeping information from the workforce constantly, it leads to a situational divide between the workforce and management. Transparency and displays of transparency at all levels of a company is important. The best authentic leaders remain authentic by being constructive with their criticism, honest in their behaviours and straightforward to their employees. When a manager is being authentic, they are not hiding their true feelings and they are working to establish trust by not holding back aspects of their business or struggles with business. At its core, this transparency will mean displaying the honesty and behaviour that you would expect from your employees and making sure that they are not hiding something significant from you either.

Proper balanced processing:

Considering alternative viewpoints is what makes a company diverse and it can create unique solutions to problems in a company. An authentic leader listens to all opinions and viewpoints to find out of the box solutions that are needed to push ahead with a plan. Authentic leaders do not rely on a self-focused or narcissistic solution as they can recognise their own flaws and seek help as required. The company culture that is created from authentic leadership leverages the minds of every member of a team to generate the best results.

A consistent moral compass:

Doing the right thing even when it is difficult is the sign of a great leader. You need to fully understand your own values and the values of your company. Putting the team and placing your brand ahead of yourself can be beneficial as a leader. Maintaining an ongoing sense of ethical integrity and avoiding shortcuts in business all remains important to being a great leader and fostering the same ethical integrity in every member of your team.

Keep some of these top qualities in mind if you are seeking to become an authentic leader. If you would like to improve your leadership skills and move up the path to becoming an authentic leader, focus on your past and your story, work on truly knowing yourself and your brand and become mission driven for your team. With the help of some work on becoming an authentic leader, you can work with others and become a substantial force in the long-term success of your small business. It is these top qualities in a leader that many companies today are seeking for the best results in their daily operations.