Have you been born-again?
I am not speaking in religious terms, but in terms of authenticity. Who are you? And, where did that person come from?
Have you re-invented yourself based on life’s experiences, or are you simply a product of what others have encouraged you to be?
In his leadership classic, “On Becoming A Leader,” Warren Bennis discusses the need for being born again. He quotes Harvard professor emeritus Abraham Zalesnik thoughts on “two kinds of leaders: once-borns and twice borns.”
“The once-born’s transition from home and family to independence is relatively easy. Twice-borns generally suffer as they grown up, feel different, even isolated, and so develop an elaborate inner life. As they grow older, they become truly independent, relying wholly on their own beliefs and ideas. Leaders who are twice born are inner-directed, self-assured, and, as a result, truly charismatic, according to Zalesnik.”
ike many other terms, authenticity means different things to different people. To me, it means being my genuine self. It means standing in integrity. It means consistency of thought and behavior.
If I am simply thinking, speaking or acting in a certain way because others have told me I should, I am not being authentic. If I am not being authentic, can I truly lead others? Perhaps for the short term, but certainly not over the long haul. Followers can see right through someone who is not authentic.
Taking all of life’s experiences and finding your authentic self among them is what contributes to being a twice-born leader.
Have you been born-again? What does authenticity mean to you?
Never miss an issue of Linked 2 Leadership, subscribe today.
Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders™
Image Source: realbikers.com