Why Authenticity is Key for Women Leaders
We hear a lot about authenticity today. The need to be authentic, transparent, genuine…to be REAL. For women leaders I believe authenticity is key! The ability to be real. No masks, no facades. Willing to show the good, the bad and the ugly. It’s not an easy feat, one I would say despite all the talk is still pretty rare. Yet there are several reasons why being authentic is key for the woman leader.
[what follows is an excerpt from my upcoming book titled Revived! Breathing New Life into Women's
Ministry in Leadership]
Being authentic shows strength
While I’m not encouraging you to pour your guts out to every person you meet about your pasts hurts, sins, or struggles’, being authentic is a powerful testimony to your strength as a woman – a woman leader. Even more important, it’s a powerful testimony to the strength of your Savior – Jesus Christ. While male leadership exhibits their strength externally, female leader’s best exhibit their strength internally. Authenticity is transparency about those past hurts, struggles, issues that reveals the internal strength of a woman. Regardless of gender people want to follow a leader who is strong. The woman leader reveals that strength through being authentic.
Being authentic shows trust
I don’t have to elaborate too much for you to nod in agreement – women have trust issues. And while over the centuries it’s been the men in our lives that have abused, abandoned and rejected us, it’s the women in our lives that we have the most distrust for. Perhaps it’s the way we are wired that causes us to throw our hearts easily into the trust zone with men while it takes a lot more to trust other women. Regardless of the answer to that mystery, authenticity is one of the ways we establish trust with others. Whether we are coming home or heading to Capitol Hill being authentic helps the people we are leading trust us. It eliminates any thoughts of “she seems to be holding something back; can I trust her?”
Being authentic shows character
Pick up any book on leadership and you’ll find character to be the number one quality of a successful leader. When you dig into those character qualities you find that the leading trait is honesty. By definition being authentic is being genuine, real (aka true). While being honest in your relationships, financially and other circumstances is important there is no higher level of honesty than that of being honest with others about yourself.
Being Authentic honors God
God has carefully knit us together, woven all the circumstances of our lives, and gifted us with specific gifts and talents – all for His glory. To try to hide, fit in or stand out as something we are not is to dishonor his unique design for our lives. We recognize the beauty of authenticity because it points us to the beauty of our Creator.
So it’s your turn. Do you have authentic leaders in your life? What do you find inspiring about their authentic leadership?