So Who Am I?
I’m on the way home now from three days away on the final Clore Social residential. It has been an amazing time working with an incredibly inspirational group of social leaders. Some of the take-aways for me were about the importance of authentic leadership and bringing your true self to work.
So, what is authentic leadership?
"Who I am effects what I do, and more importantly, why I do it in a whole series of ways"
Whilst different theorists have different slants on the concept, a Forbes articles outlines the most important elements:
1. Authentic leaders are self-aware and genuine. Authentic leaders are self-actualized individuals who are aware of their strengths, their limitations, and their emotions. They also show their real selves to their followers. They do not act one way in private and another in public; they don’t hide their mistakes or weaknesses out of fear of looking weak. They also realize that being self-actualized is an endless journey, never complete.
2. Authentic leaders are mission driven and focused on results. They are able to put the mission and the goals of the organization ahead of their own self-interest. They do the job in pursuit of results, not for their own power, money or ego.
3. Authentic leaders lead with their heart, not just their minds. They are not afraid to show their emotions, their vulnerability and to connect with their employees.
4. Authentic leaders focus on the long-term and leaders realize that to nurture individuals and to nurture an organisation requires hard work and patience, but the approach pays large dividends over time
I am fully convinced that I want (and need) to be a truly authentic leader.
This take-away was further brought home by the peer-to-peer review of my social media presence by the amazing Huda Jawad. One of Huda’s observations was that my social media presence was professional, consistent and a good reflection of the work my charity does; but the bit that was missing was the insight into Michelle the person (what I can now see is an insight into my true authenticity). Huda highlighted that after being alongside each other for the last year as a Clore fellow, a peer, and now, friend – she knew the bits that brought me to life, not just the professional me.
Both bits have come together to really challenge me to think about why I don’t share more about myself, if I want to and why I should. Huda has sensitively convinced me to have a go, so here goes ….
FIRSTLY, THE BASICS:
- My name is Michelle Louise Hill.
- I am 33 years old.
- I was born in Stockport and still live there.
- I have a close knit family, with good relationships with my mum, dad and only brother, who is 4 years younger than me.
- I’m married to Alex. We’ve been together for 15 years now and married for 10.
- I have two children, the most amazing daughters aged 5 and 6.
- I have a wide circle of friends and the most amazing group of 4 best friends.
- I am a Christian. I became a Christian at the age of 16 and since then my faith has led and defined who I am.
- I am the CEO of TLC: Talk, Listen, Change – Greater Manchester’s own relationships charity.
Ok, so that’s my facts but I suppose the real question is, does it matter and if so, why?
After thinking about it, I’ve realised that who I am effects what I do, and more importantly, why I do it in a whole series of ways.
So for example, if I share who I truly I am, I become more genuine – which means that you are more likely to believe me and trust me. If you trust me, you are more likely to want to get to know me. As you get to know me, you will begin to understand what matters to me. You will see the importance I place in relationships. You will understand my ‘why’ and through that I will help bring my charity to life for you.
Therefore, I’m proposing to challenge myself on bringing my true self to social media through writing a series of mini blogs about who I am.
THE SERIES WILL INCLUDE:
- I am a woman in leadership
- I am a woman of faith
- I am a working mum
I hope some of these may interest you and even prove useful.
I’d love to find out more about you too.