I thought black swans were rare, but a small nonprofit was apparently looking for one. They asked me to help them hire their next executive director, but when I read the job listing I was flabbergasted. They were looking for someone with years of experience in every facet of operating a nonprofit—from fundraising to grant writing to management and beyond -- with detailed requirements in each area.
Teddy Roosevelt once said, “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.”
It’s a great quote for leaders to keep in their back pockets. Most of us who have led for any amount of time intuitively grasp the power of decisiveness that Roosevelt is describing. What’s interesting is that we now have empirical evidence to back it up.
Being a leader doesn’t just mean issuing orders and expecting people to listen. The days of command-and-control are over. Today, the most effective leaders rely on authenticity to influence and inspire their teams.
Authentic leadership can’t be easily taught: it’s the process of being true to your own character and demonstrating to others that you’re the real deal. However, there are a few behaviors that are fundamental to growing your authenticity and earning the trust of your employees.