How to be an Authentic Leader

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In his book The Catalyst LeaderBrad Lomenick lists some great practices to be an authentic leader:

  1. Practice self-awareness. Before you can release your true self you have to recognize your true self. Too many people refuse to accept and even name their weaknesses, struggles, and pitfalls. As a result, they accept a version of themselves they believe others will like better. Understand who you really are.
  2. Question yourself. I encourage leaders to evaluate their self-acceptance with honest questions: Whose attention do you crave? Are you chasing the approval of friends, colleagues, and customers? What is it you don’t like about yourself, and how can that shortcoming also be a strength? Self-diagnosis can lead to self-discovery, which is the only path to authenticity.
  3. Move from self-promotion to storytelling. I can appreciate the effort made by individuals in the public eye to shape their personal brands. But I also worry about the effects this can have on living an authentic life. If you want to be a change maker, begin to see public outlets as places for sharing your personal story.
  4. Resist the urge to create a digital alter ego. Refuse to hide behind a website or Facebook page. Instead, adopt the mind-set of Claire Diaz Ortiz, social innovation director for Twitter: “Social media is not just about being connected. It’s about being transparent, intimate, and honest.”
  5. Learn to laugh at yourself. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Instead, grow comfortable enough with who you are to laugh and laugh often. When you are able to accept and even chuckle at your blunders and mess-ups, others will too. And this common experience will help you bond with them.
  6. Build a support network. Beware of the temptation to surround yourself with flatterers who only tell you what you want to hear. Keep honest people in your life that can help you stay grounded and keep from thinking you’ve arrived.
  7. Be interested over interesting. Be more concerned with listening instead of talking. Focus on others, not yourself.

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Links I Like

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like.

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Carl Lafterton on 6 ways to look godly without really growing.

This time last year, I mentioned six ways to look godly while not growing in your faith — and then spent 2013 battling them, falling for them, and finding several other ways, too. So here, for 2014, are six more ways to look great while doing little…

Kevin DeYoung on The 10 commandments of twitter.

And the Lord of Twitter spoke all these words saying, I am the Lord your God, who gave thee computers and tablets and smartphones, the Holy One of all social media who foreknew the internet before the foundation of the earth, yea even when the world of handles and hashtags was without form and void.

5 ways to fight entitlement in your kids.

On the one hand, you want to provide your child with every advantage. On the other hand, sometimes it feels like when you do that, you’re feeding an incredibly unhealthy characteristic in our culture.

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Social Media & Birthdays

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I had my birthday recently and it got me to thinking about birthday’s and social media. Facebook has proven to be nice for a few things when it comes to birthday’s or anniversaries. Facebook tells us when these things happen. I don’t have to remember, write them down or keep track. It will just show up on my page. I can then write a quick, “Happy birthday” and be done.

This is nice and somewhat lazy.

If we’re honest, it makes us feel like we are checking something off and being a good friend. But it is missing something.

If you have ever bought a card for something, you maybe wrote something in it. If anything, you at least took 5 seconds to pick out a card that fit that person. It caused you to have some thought about what you gave them or said to them. Social media has taken that away.

One of the things I’ve started to do and here’s my challenge to you: when you write happy birthday to someone on Facebook, write a message to them on their wall. Tell them why you appreciate them or why they are special to you. If you don’t know them well enough to do that, skip the greeting all together. They won’t know you didn’t write them a message.

Preach Better Sermons || Jon Acuff

bookI’m watching the online conference Preach Better Sermons today and wanted to share some of the learnings I picked up. One of the speakers is Jon Acuff. Jon is the author of four books including The Wall Street Journal bestseller, Quitter. Acuff is also the author of the popular blog, Stuff Christians Like.net, which has more than 4.5 million readers worldwide. Jon’s latest book, Start, releases April 22, 2013. In it, Jon challenges and equips readers to get off the path to average and back onto the path to awesome.

Here are some things that jumped out from his segment:

  • You speak to be remembered or repeated. 
  • The brain looks for ways to connect things they hear.
  • Know the challenges, thoughts, concerns of your audience.
  • Most speakers don’t connect our ideas in our talks.
  • One of the greatest fears communicators have is being honest and share their recent failures.
  • The greatest way to ruin a speech is ego.
  • Share your fears. Speakers should go first, which gives the audience the permission and privilege of going second.
  • If I hide my weakness, they won’t see my strength.
  • God is not handcuffed by our weaknesses or moved forward by our strengths.
  • To communicate something, you have to say something more than you think you do.

His emphasis on transitions and helping people stay with you was incredibly helpful.