Authenticity versus the Armor of Leadership by Travis Waits

When leaders are called to make an impact, often one of the occupational hazards of their position is the insulation that comes from being at the top. We all treat leaders with a higher level of respect, expectation, and responsibility. The by product of this, for the leader, is most often isolation and disconnection from genuine relationships. The cost for the leader to “be themselves” begins to be increasingly burdensome, and another piece of armor is added.

Your willingness to risk as a leader is contingent on your capacity to be vulnerable. Travis Waits shares about the armor that leaders put on which prevents their authenticity and effectiveness. Leaders make the most impact when they use their influence. This in turn showcases the leaders character and ethics, who they are, from the inside out.

The challenge, in our day of re-defining leadership ethics, is to develop a practical framework that levels the playing field. What I mean by that is we do ourselves, and fellow leaders a disservice when we commend the traits of vulnerability, authenticity, integrity, but then perpetual react negatively (from fear, shock, hurt…) when leaders make missteps of any kind. I have said this before, but we should not be shocked…all we need to do is look in the mirror.

I have really been valuing the conversations of late regarding infusing leadership in our culture with a level of authenticity that truly is that, and is counter-culture to the ways we have all thought about “leadership” in the past. Thanks for joining me on this journey!

 

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