The more clearly a leader can see objective reality, the more effective that leader will be in dealing with it.
To separate out “the facts” from interpretations, opinions, prejudices, assumptions, points of view, “what everybody knows,” as well as separate the facts from one’s hopes, fantasies, wishes, and
“what should be.”
This kind of rigor in dealing with external objective reality begins with a rigor in dealing with one’s own internal reality. That is, to be honest with and about oneself in all one’s affairs.
From dictionary.com – Genuine (Adjective)
- not fake or counterfeit; original; real; authentic
- not pretending; frank; sincere
- being of authentic or original stock
How does one develop being genuine?
We must start with the already-existing state of being human: it is often not one of being real, genuine, honest. I suggest that if we give a straightforward look at ourselves, we often feel less than honest or genuine. We strive to be liked, to win, to avoid looking foolish. We want to be well thought of. And in those pursuits, we often sacrifice being real. Honesty can seem so much less important that these other pursuits. And in not taking seriously our own realness, we miss the enormous power, clarity, and peace available.
Being genuine feels vulnerable. It can include feeling embarrassed at times. Being honest can mean admitting we were wrong, or that we failed at something, or that we made a mistake. And in telling the truth about these things, it at first seems threatening, dangerous, counterproductive. And for sure, counter-intuitive.
Vulnerability like this takes courage.
It takes an actual commitment to take on being genuine with self and others.
Being well-intended, reading inspiring quotes, feeling strongly about it….make little or no difference. Just as it takes commitment to develop stamina or learn a new skill, it takes commitment to master being honest and real. It is not a momentary decision that transforms one, but rather an ongoing commitment—more like taking on a project—to be genuine and when you are not, catching yourself and then being genuine in that moment.
This kind of honesty builds trust with others, lets you see clearly what is, and gives a sense of peace since there is nothing to hide. You discover yourself.
To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else – means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.
– e.e. cummings
Your comments and questions about Leadership Transformation #4 above, and our earlier posts about Leadership Transformation are very welcome.