Business owners know they need to have influence as leaders, but that influence is only as powerful as it is authentic.
You know authenticity when you see it. Perhaps more noticeably, you can feel inauthenticity. How do you use authentic influence to truly inspire and empower your team to show up and work together to help grow your business? Here are a few tips:
1. Lead with Your Values
Authentic influence means showing up as your authentic self and building meaningful relationships with your team based on the things that matter to you—like integrity, respect, and compassion.
When you lead authentically, you gain trust by being transparent and open about your goals. Leading with authentic influence helps you establish a business that is not only built for right now but also for the future.
2. Lean into Your Mission
While developing your company’s mission and leading by it is key, it’s important to remember that you also need to embody your company’s values and purpose and lead by example in your words and actions.
Being an authentic leader can help create a sense of purpose and meaning in your work, but even more importantly with your team. It’s really all about making a positive impact and creating a supportive environment that will inspire others to grow with you.
3. Let Your Ideas Marinate
You have brilliant ideas—but let them develop before you share them with your team. Being deliberate with your ideation will keep you from constantly chasing the next shiny object and dragging your team along for the ride to do the hard work that it takes to enact change. It’s your responsibility as a leader to make sure an idea is worth investing in before going forward with it. If you recently had an epiphany, let it sit for a week. If it still feels like an epiphany after a week, go for it. If it loses its luster, you get to keep your big idea card for next time.
4. Be Inspired By Others
Your own work ethic and routine will get you far, but it’s the people around you who will give you the inspiration to go the extra mile. Include your team in your company’s story and trajectory. Ask them what inspires them. Learn what motivates them. In doing so, you’ll have the insights you need to build an authentic culture that expands beyond what you find to be inspiring in your personal life.
5. Focus on the Steps
Being a leader brings with it a lot of pressure. There are many things you can control and even more that you can’t. It’s okay to figure it out as you go and even to take it slow. Instead of thinking about the mountain you have to climb, focus on the steps and take each one in alignment with your core values.
Your authenticity will also naturally attract buyers who share the same values as you and will uphold the legacy you built with your company. This will ultimately pave a the way for a smooth and graceful transition when you decide it’s time to exit.