If you have to talk about Authentic Leadership,… | Gagen MacDonald

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If you have to talk about Authentic Leadership, then you’re not doing it

Jan 08, 2015
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There has been much said and written about Authentic Leadership. It’s the thesis statement for the movement of reconnecting with customers and communities. The word Authentic has become THE new buzzword.And I have trouble with that.To paraphrase my Nana Roz when sharing one of her many life lessons with me: “Jason dear, if you have to tell people that you are Authentic, then you are not doing it!”I prefer the word Love.There is no mistaking Love — you either have it or you don’t. It is one of those wonderful words that have action associated with it. You can possess it, radiate it, and share it. So when I receive great service provided with Love, or a product that has been crafted with Love, it is noticeable. I can spot it a mile away.Love comes in many sizes, shapes, and levels of an organization. It can come from the front line partner when a barista creates a tall, soy latte at 140 degrees at one of Howard’s Starbucks Locations, or at the highest levels by the President of a Fortune 500 Company when she delivers a vision, Love permeates the experience and lives beyond the moment and simple transaction. Love takes a lot of work and investment — and as a leader, you have to nurture it.In a world that has become mass created and consumed, Love is THE great differentiator. To me as a consumer, it is the difference between “one and done” and repeatable visits and experiences.So, my vote goes to Love as the truestexpression of authenticity and leadership that any individual can possess: it creates connection, motivation, and long term sustainability.
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