July 2019’s Leadership Principle: Authenticity

 

By Christine Sederquist
WCRL VP of Communications

 

 

When you were a kid and people asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up, what was your answer?

For me, it was Madonna.  I wanted to be Madonna.  Sometimes it would change: a veterinarian, a lawyer, a Broadway  performer.  No matter what I imagined myself to be though, it always had that dream-like essence: a feeling it would never quite be within reach.  If somebody had said I was going to move halfway across the country and become a small-town city council member, it would have felt just as unreachable as being Madonna.

The thing is, we are not born as politicians.  And someday, when we leave this earth, we will not leave it as politicians.  Being a politician is just a season in our lives: the same as being a high school student; a newlywed; and if we’re lucky enough, a senior citizen.  One season may be how some people remember us, but it is not what defines us.

What truly defines us is what we are, and that’s where this month’s principle comes in: authenticity.

The definition of authenticity

Who are you and what string of authenticity runs through your life?  What is it that people can always count on you for?  Are you honest?  Do you admit when you’re wrong?  Do you say what you’ll do and do what you’ll say?

For me, the strings of authenticity that run through my life include being honest about what I believe, even if it makes me unpopular; letting people close to me know where we stand, even if that threatens to hurt our friendship; being able to admit when I’ve erred, but always being able to know that  I erred with good intentions; and always being available to friends, and protecting them fiercely.

Someday, this season of your life will come to a close.  At the end of your days, what will be in your eulogy?  It won’t be “they were great at politics”.  If we’re lucky, it will be “I could always count on them”.

Posted in Leadership Principles.

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