Of all the principles supporting sustainable leadership, authenticity is one of the most important. It also can be one of the most challenging to practice. Despite this, few people realize it’s an area that even needs continuous attention. In more than three decades of interacting with thousands of leaders, I’ve yet to meet an executive for coaching who comes to me lamenting, “I’m having real trouble being authentic.” Yet if authenticity is so important, why don’t we recognize it as an issue within ourselves? The answer is both simple and profound: we are always authentic to our present state of development. We all behave in perfect alignment with our current level of emotional, psychological, and spiritual evolution. All our actions and relationships, as well as the quality and power of our leadership, accurately express the person we have become. Therefore, we conclude that we are “authentic,” because we are doing the best we can with the information, experience, competencies and traits that we have at this time.
We all have our own definitions of success and what it means to us. Some may say, “I know I’ll be successful when I get that super car,” or, “I know I’ll be successful when I can have that house or live here.”
And there are some that may not be as materialistic. They might say, “I know I’ll be successful when I have a happy family, when I have four kids and they’re all going to college, or when I have married the one.”
Let’s be honest, very few of us like to wait. Waiting is difficult. Waiting is agonizing. Waiting can be downright frustrating. It can even lead to the breakdown of one’s self-esteem. After all, if we were good, we would be successful. Right? Success is the reflection of how good we are. Its a measure of our intelligence and how we are able to navigate into the different structures, using the tools that we have. Its a way for us to showcase how we can network, while building healthy relationships with people. So, we are doing all of that. And still, we are not getting what we want. We are not getting what we are working for, and we are about to explode. So, what do we do?
On Dec 31, as large crowds celebrated the dropping of the ball in Times Square at the stroke of midnight, it made me wonder, as I always do on New Year’s Eve: Why do people get so excited at the dawn of a New Year? Isn’t it just another calendar-page-turn, like any of the other 364 days?
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