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In her blog post titled, “Why do we find integrity so hard?” (http://lnkd.in/KKsYnW), Christine McDougall shared this formula for integrity that she pulled from Chip Conley’s book, Emotional Equations: Simple Truths for Creating Happiness + Success:

Integrity = Authenticity x Invisibility x Reliability

Let’s take a closer look at authenticity, which I see as the merging of self-awareness and courage. As a client recently said to me, self-awareness requires one to be very self-aware. It took me a while to wrap my head around that one and when I did I realized he was exactly right.

To effectively lead others, you must be comfortable in your own skin and lead from a completely authentic place. Getting to that point requires a clear sense of yourself; who you are, your values, strengths, talents, purpose, modes of operating, behaviors and all the other elements that make you you.
There are two benefits of being self-aware and living and leading authentically:

  1. People respond to and deeply appreciate authenticity in a world where “reality” is actually the furthest from reality you could find (just think “reality TV”). An authentic approach allows you to connect on a personal level with those being served and deepens the team’s trust of you and your commitment to their cause.
  2. Reduced stress and tension for you. When you have the courage to be the same person where ever you are and don’t draw sharp boundaries between who you are at work and in the rest of life, you are free to be your authentic self and no longer have to live a double life. What a relief!

Many of us in leadership roles have participated in some practice of self-assessment. I’ve been through a battery of instruments over the last 20 years and you probably have too. Yet for so many of us, the potential benefits are lost as soon as we get back to our desks, and most of these reports are collecting dust in a distant corner of the file cabinet.

There is leadership gold in the results of those assessments, but with job pressure and lack of time that gold is often left un-mined. Let’s change that right now!

Go find at least one self-assessment instrument you have taken in the last five years. I mean it go! It doesn’t matter which one it was, whether MBTI, Myers-Briggs, StrengthFinders, LPI, Hogan or something else, just go and get your results report.

Now that you’re back, take the following steps:

  1. Reacquaint yourself with the assessment and what the results mean
  2. Pick one (and only one) of the results that seems to remind you most of yourself
  3. Write down or highlight what parts of the description remind you of you
  4. Write down how this is beneficial to you and where it most shows up

In the next blog post we’ll do some more mining for gold and learn how to courageously let your true self shine.

Jeff Harmon

Jeff Harmon is the president of Brilliance Within Coaching & Consulting which specializes in developing servant leaders while helping them translate their strategies into actionable plans that drive business results. Jeff is the author of “The Anatomy of a Principled Leader.” Jeff has been developing leaders for nearly 20 years and has led the execution of over 100,000 hours of business strategy for information technology, financial services and non-profit organizations.

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