Get Real!

Dr. Matthew Arau • April 2024Leadership Tips • April 8, 2024

Have you ever felt you needed to be someone you’re not to earn respect and admiration? I know I have. There were times in my life when I pretended to be like someone else because that’s what I thought I needed to do to fit in. Through the school of hard knocks and personal experience, I have learned the best way to connect with others, earn respect, and lead effectively is to just be yourself — just be real. 

Here are five leadership tips to take your leadership to the next level through being real. 

1. Be honest with yourself – Embrace who you are. Be yourself. There is only one of you on the entire planet. Be true to your own purpose. Spend time in quiet personal reflection to listen to your heart’s desires and intuition. Recognize your strengths and areas requiring growth and improvement. We will all struggle and fail at times. What matters is how we learn from our challenges and bounce back.

2. Be authentic with others – Being real builds trust with others and with yourself. Being fake wastes energy and breeds distrust. When you are real others will listen. When you are fake others will resist. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Be true to your word. People will connect with you when they can relate to you, and one of the best ways to connect with others is to listen authentically and to be vulnerable and open. 

3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help – Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you need to know everything. A leader is always learning, and one of the best ways to learn is to ask for help or mentorship from someone else who has knowledge or strengths in other areas. Asking for help is a sign of strength and courage, not weakness.

4. Be yourself courageously – Believe in yourself. Don’t waste time getting others to believe in you when you should be working on believing in yourself. Don’t diminish your own light and energy to fit in. Instead, radiate your personal vibrancy to raise up the attitude and enthusiasm of those around you.

5. Build trust through being genuine and honest – Trust begins with self-trust. When you are honest with yourself, follow through on what you say you are going to do, and embrace your whole self – wrinkles and all – your self-trust grows. You build trust with others through listening intently, being interested and curious, demonstrating competency, and being real and honest.

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