Presence is not just about showing up and being “present.” It’s about being in the moment with your supporters and fulling engaging the issues, joys, sadness, sorrows or triumphs that confront every leader.
Being present, both mind and body, makes your supporters appreciate that you care enough to take the time to understand the challenges they face. The simple fact about being present is that you have to consume the details without being consumed by them.
Follow up on a specific detail: Nothing helps the leaders cause like a personal connection. Most leaders hear this advice but don’t know what it means, what to do about it, or how it impacts everyday life in the office. To learn more about this subject, I read Karissa Thacker’s terrific new book, The Art of Authenticity: Tools to Become an Authentic Leader and Your Best Self. What I particularly like about her new book is that, as the subtitle of the book suggests, she provides tools to help with the goal. Our typical way of thinking about authenticity is to just be yourself, and it will all turn out better.
Jim Carrey’s movie Liar Liar immediately came to mind when I read your Truth Serum Question. Imagine that everyone in your workplace has had a powerful truth serum and everything they think unfiltered will come out of their mouths tomorrow. I use that question with clients to point out just how impractical the notion of being totally honest all the time is.
If you teach yourself to think about those George Bailey questions, you are raising your expectations and not letting your self off the hook. What techniques work to understand a culture and diagnose where it is in terms of authenticity? Second, be very careful about how you react when someone makes an honest mistake or misstep.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. About SkipThis is a place designed to showcase thought leaders and my random thoughts to help you succeed.
According to Olivia Fox Cabane's book "The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism," people aren't born with charisma. They find themselves distracted by whatever other crisis, issue or meeting they have to jump to. From the mundane chit chat about the weather to the insightful words of someone who truly understands the issues at hand. For the leader, it allows them to fully and completely process the situations they are dealing with.


Too often, leaders are distracted on their smart phones or wondering when they have to leave.
These details can be as simple as the color of the room, the pictures on the wall or the number of people seated before you.
You start to pay more attention to what is being said, the mood of the room, how people react to your words, how they react to others and what brings the room down.
Listening and absorbing what someone is saying not only gives you vital information but it also shows that you care enough to listen — which is half the battle in gaining support for your cause.
Leadership is about getting things done that are both difficult and important in the context of a specific organization or more broadly any human community. I also think that the modern era poses some challenges with upping the ante on aspects of authenticity like transparency.
It is not just impractical but probably harmful and definitely not conducive to maximum productivity.
Depending on the size of the company or the way the company is managed, the culture may be weak, meaning that behavior is more variant. Why not have a positive boost that also improves your skills? Get free inspiration delivered to your inbox and even a free e-book. Enter your email above and you'll get instructions on how to download your copy of the ebook. Also, some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. People areA magnetically drawn to them and more willing to perform above and beyond the call of duty to supportA them.
This makes them ineffective at gathering the needed intelligence they need to make good decisions.
These moments of both seemly meaningless interactions and profound realizations are lost when the leader is not fully and completely in the moment. By fully engaging with the event or situation, a present leader can sift through the noise and get to the meat of a challenge. Without such presence, most of your supporters will wonder if you are really in tune with their needs. Authenticity adds another layer which is being true to your own nature AS you are getting things done that are difficult and important. A lot of this interest comes down to people wanting our leaders to step up and make things happen that are good for the whole. Then we can talk about creating norms and enabling conditions in which honest conversations can happen about things that really matter.
With the regular doing, you start to see patterns which are, of course, strengths and weaknesses.


There are at least 4 components of authenticity that we know about for sure: self-awareness, unbiased processing, appropriate transparency and staying true to your values. For example, if a candidate cannot tell you about a time in which an initiative did not go well with some level of insight into what they could have done more effectively, you are probably not dealing with someone capable of unbiased processing, and self-awareness is not showing up at least in that moment. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. This allows the leader to make better and better decisions as well as instill a confidence within their supporters.
We don’t always know why we are inspired by certain individuals, but I think it is this characteristic that appeals to us at a deep level.
The boundaries between private life and work or with private life in general are not what they used to be. Any robust discussion of authenticity takes you fully into the thicket of human moral psychology as authenticity is so not a value-neutral construct. You also begin to see how certain situations trigger the best in you and other situations trigger the worst in you. Role model those aspects and talk about your struggles to live up to them all in situations where it is appropriate.
If you get only a surface answer even when probing on this one, you may not have a leader who has built the capacity to learn from experience.
As a coach, I sometimes meet people who have had the same issues for a decade, and no one has told them straight up that they talk too much or come across as arrogant or whatever the issue is. It is challenging to become more authentic as a leader in cultures where it is not normative to have honest dialogue about things that matter.
Interviewers need to be especially conscious that they not get carried away by charisma and assume authenticity. Our hardwired adaptive traits as humans mean that we behave differently under different situations and circumstances. More importantly, you have to figure out ways to stay in touch with what is important to you as you are in the thick of getting things done. Paying attention to the inner game and outer game at the same time is a lot easier said than done. Said another way, it is easier to just be authentic or just figure out how to get things done that are difficult and important.



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