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Courage in Authentic Leadership

  • by Hyper Island Asia

Peter Skalberg, Crew 8 Alumni & Learning Facilitator

I believe that at the heart of leadership is to know thyself.

A need to understand who you are as a person, what value, what you hold dear, what are your strengths and weaknesses are and capabilities.

In knowing yourself, you may know others.

Often as leaders we are asked to wear different hats and at the same time different masks that might obscure the real you. The leader who brings the greatest impact ‘acts on his own authority’ and bring his true authentic self to the role.

This authentic self and knowingness is key to recognising and bringing awareness to knowing your team.

To appreciate and recognise their behaviour, attitudes and motivations. To be able to hear the diversity in their perspectives so that you can see the bigger picture. To build deeper connects with them and the emotions that underpin their experiences.

What I have learnt is the critical value of vulnerability.

Vulnerability brings you to a space of uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure that can help build strong emotional connections wit your team.

Whilst the world and business may want certainty we know that in this new digital world we need to be navigated it with a compass not a playbook. Vulnerable leaders therefore need to wrestle with tough conversations, have the ability to drop their armour when needed, listen with the same passion they want to be heard and respect and care for their teams to make them better.

“Our ability to be daring leaders will never be greater than our capacity for vulnerability” Brene Brown

Showing and being vulnerable is a skill that can be developed and helpful in developing great and effective teams. It builds an understanding of open genuine connections. It’s not to say that vulnerability comes with challenges. Showing vulnerability during times of uncertainty, clear risk or emotional exposure are not easy and should be tempered within your experience of knowing others. There will be people who will want to pull you down or take advantage.

In the real world we also need to be conscious of protecting ourselves.

Vulnerability. Courage. I believe these values are not opposites but complementaries. One can’t live without the other.

Therefore to be vulnerable with your team, to be exposed and take risks is a considered mindset. It will help connect and enable you to strengthen your emotional bonds on a much deeper level with your team so you can lead with purpose and focus.

Vulnerability can be your superpower.

If you’d like understand how to lead teams with authentic leadership, discover the Master's in Digital Management at Hyper Island Asia.

(Photo by Alex Motoc on Unsplash)

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