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    January 31st, 2012

    ♬ This is real, this is me
    I’m exactly where I’m suppose to be, now
    Gonna let the light, shine on me
    Now I’ve found, who I am
    There’s no way to hold it in
    No more hiding who I want to be
    This is me…♬

    Lyrics and music by: Andy Dodd and Adam Watts, recorded by Demi Lovato.

    Girl being herself.

    This is a guest post from Beth Flynn’s Leadership Moments newsletter at the OSU Leadership Center. It continues the dialogue in the area that I believe is so important for lawyers today: Leadership. In particular, it discusses how to be authentic in a leadership role.

    Dictionary.com defines Authentic (adjective) as: not false or copied; genuine; real: an authentic antique. I think this is the essence of leadership: you must find your own voice and style – copying someone’s else’s leadership style won’t work. Here is Beth’s post on being an authentic leader:

    • Just do it.  Invest in yourself by doing the work you must do to truly know who you are – your life story, the things that shaped you, and your disappointments and failures.  Own yourself and who you really are.  This is what allows others to connect.  There is no one who can do this work for you.
    • Trust the power of allowing others to know you.  Even though it can seem scary, and it requires the willingness to be vulnerable, it is the key to influence.  The real you – no imitations or role-playing – is what people want to know, and the real you is the person to whom they will commit.
    • Find the courage to be yourself when the pressure of leadership tempts you otherwise.  There is nothing more comforting to others, especially in times of stress, than to realize that you know and trust yourself.
    • Declare yourself worthy, adequate, and deserving of the job you have.  Don’t doubt yourself if you expect others not to.
    • Be careful about “trying” too hard to be authentic.  Being yourself should feel easier than being the image you think others want of you.  Don’t be authentic in the same way someone else is – do it your way.
    • Seek feedback from a wide group of your followers.  Try to use it diagnostically, to improve, not as a threat to your self-image, self-esteem, or self-worth.
    • Stand on personal courage to create leaderships.  You will be rewarded with loyalty (Hamm, 2011, p. 29).

    From:  Hamm, J. (2011).  Unusually excellent:  the necessary nine skills required for the practice of great leadership.  San Francisco:  Jossey-Bass.

    Unusually Excellent is available from the OSU Leadership Center. Click here to borrow this resource or any other resource.  Once you are on the OSU website, click on the Spectrum icon. Learn how the Ohio State University Leadership Center is inspiring others to take a leadership role that empowers the world.

    To begin receiving Leadership Moments newsletter, please click on Join Our Mailing List.

    Thanks Beth for another great leadership post on how we can be an authentic  leader.

    This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 31st, 2012 at 8:38 am and is filed under Change Management, Firm Governance, Issues facing Law Firms, Law Firm Strategy, Leadership and Strategic Planning, Tips, Trends. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

    2 Responses to “Unusually Excellent: The Essentials of Being Authentic”
    1. Max Mednik Says:

      Thanks for sharing. It’s refreshing to read something uplifting like this, and I hope it helps those who read it.

      I’m taking a leadership class right now, and it echoes a lot of the same principles. The first class was all about being self-aware, which ties into much of what you’re saying about being authentic.

      I’m working on a project called Ridacto (http://www.ridacto.com) that aims to use artificial intelligence technology to help attorneys and business professionals create more bulletproof legal contracts. Our goal is to help people work smarter, create higher quality documents, and avoid mistakes — in a sense, giving people more pride in what they do. I hope this in the end helps people avoid lawsuits and be happier in the end.

      Thanks again for sharing!

    2. Susanna Jani Says:

      Thanks for another thoughtful post, David. Once again, you have managed to hit on a topic that makes your post a more interesting morning read than most of the newspaper.

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