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Being Authentic: Empowering Your Team

Updated: Oct 26, 2023

Empowering your team with authentic leadership is like helping them to become the a pilot in the cockpit, rather than hoping the plane will fly itself. It's about creating an atmosphere where your crew can soar, and a crucial ingredient in this recipe is fostering psychological safety.

First things first, as a leader, let your authentic self shine through. Authenticity truly is the secret sauce of leadership. Pretense? Nah, that's like trying to season your food with cardboard. When you're genuine, your team can relate to you, trust you, and connect with you on a human level. That trust is the foundation of psychological safety.

Speaking of psychological safety, a metaphor I came across recently was describing it like having an open mic night where your team can voice their thoughts without fearing the hook. Create a space where they feel comfortable sharing ideas, concerns, and even those wild, offbeat suggestions. Remember, psychological safety is not just about nodding along; it's about truly listening and valuing their input.

Here's an example: let's take a quick detour to the pop culture hall of shame. Remember the infamous "Fyre Festival" disaster? That's a classic example of how not to empower your team. Billy McFarland, the mastermind behind it, didn't just promise luxury; he promised an entire fantasy world. But behind the scenes, he was a whirlwind of deception and fear. His team knew things were going south, but they were scared to speak up. The result? A hot mess of a festival, viral memes, and lawsuits.

So, what's the lesson here? Be the polar opposite of Billy McFarland. Encourage your team to share their views, even if it's a little off-key. When they feel psychologically safe, they'll be your backstage crew, working tirelessly to make the show a hit. Remember, you're not a solo act; you're the conductor, and the magic happens when everyone plays their part. Authentic leadership is about being real, creating an environment of psychological safety, and avoiding the pitfalls of a Fyre Festival-like fiasco.

So, be the leader who empowers their team to take flight, and together, you'll soar to new heights.

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