Leadership is… Being Genuine

Genuine LEather

Any quality leather company prides itself on one main thing. We’ve all see it stamped on their product or on the packaging: “100% Genuine Leather”. Why in the world would they put that on their box of product? Well, turns out that most leather we buy is not real leather. Most is a fake plastic textured, dyed, and scented to smell like the real thing. While it may be cheaper, anyone who has used a fake leather anything will tell you it degraded pretty quickly.

Genuine leather though? That stuff lasts forever. It not only is tough, but the more you use the leather, the better it fits you. Obviously a leader cannot be compared to a piece of cowhide in terms of usefulness or lasting impact, however, I think there is a lesson to be learned here which I’ve started to observe in my own life.

Genuine leaders are the ones who inspire trust, openness, and communication. Genuine leaders- those who lead as they really are, not the kind with a deceitful or even masked mindset- are incredibly influential, because they are incredibly open. People have no doubt as to whether or not that person is who they really claim to be. And that is a huge thing.

So why isn’t every leader open and genuine? Probably, I think, because of fear. When you are real, you are vulnerable. People reject others all the time. They criticize a personality, or even simply dismiss a person based on who they are. That shouldn’t stop a leader though. Because leadership isn’t based upon circumstance or petty opinions. It is based upon vision and passion, two things which are greater than any personal vulnerability.

I’m not going to lie, this is one aspect of leadership I do struggle with immensely. I’ve got my own personal little box which I like to live it. It is safe, secure, and predictable. It is also open when I want it to be, and can be closed too. That is not conducive to great leadership though- it is only conducive to yourself.

So let’s be real, authentic, and genuine leaders. Not two-faced ones who acts differently for different people, or hides behind their mask to feel safe. Let’s be genuine, and through our example, inspire others to do the same. So the question comes… How you do display genuineness as a leader?

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