Strength Through Authenticity

Photo by Steve Johnson

Photo by Steve Johnson

Michael Sahota's blog first introduced me to Brene Brown, and I'm so thankful for it.  He recently summed up Dr. Brown's view on vulnerability, which requires 3 elements: Courage, Compassion, Authenticity.  Good managers exhibit those elements, and today I wanted to focus on Authenticity.

Pawel Brodzinski shared how he is unable to hide his emotions in the workplace, and one of my coworkers is the same way.  Rather than view it as a negative, Pawel classifies it as authenticity--it's part of being honest and transparent.  But organizations don't always want honesty and transparency from their leaders; they expect leaders to put on a mask to protect the organization's interests because employees cannot be trusted to know everything or shouldn't be distracted by the ins and outs of organizational details.  In such situations, managers are caught between company culture and their employees.  

It's known that employees often quit bosses--not jobs--but studies have also shown that the exit rate of bad bosses (those who don't improve the productivity of their workers) is almost twice the rate of the average-quality boss.  According to the researchers, the best bosses are teachers and cheerleaders.  I suspect that the best bosses might also use those skills to shape company culture, making it more transparent so all employees can be more authentic.  After all, it's tiring to not be yourself in the workplace, and it's associated with lower job satisfaction.

So go on, be an authentic leader.

Allison Pollard

I help people discover their agile instincts and develop their coaching abilities. As an agile coach with Improving in Dallas, I enjoy mentoring others to become great Scrum Masters, coaching managers to grow teams that deliver amazing results, and fostering communities that provide sustainability for agile transformations. In my experience, applying agile methods improves delivery, strengthens relationships, and builds trust between business and IT. A big believer in the power of community-based learning, I grew the DFW Scrum user group significantly over the five years I served as an organizer. I am also a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, a foodie, and proud glasses wearer.