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Creating Successful Leaders

bill george quote

The last time I heard Bill George speak, he said something I’ll never forget:

“It’s the last three feet—The distance between you and the customer. Unless you’re a good person, you cannot be a great leader. The longest journey I’ve ever known is the path between my heart and my head.”

If you ever get the chance to hear Bill George speak, I highly recommend it. He is an inspirational and dynamic speaker with a clear message: In order to be a great leader, you need to be authentic.

Bill George is the former CEO of Medtronic and a professor of management practice at Harvard Business School, where he has teaches leadership. His book, Discover Your True North, is all about becoming an authentic leader by following your own internal compass.

Why is authenticity a crucial part of great leadership?

Because authenticity leads to trust and trust should be the foundation of any organization. If the leadership is trustworthy and transparent, then employees will feel comfortable and secure in the company. If not, employees will constantly feel on-edge or left in the dark.

Authentic leaders keep open doors and open lines of communication because they have nothing to hide. They make others feel at-ease because they do not have hidden agendas or motives.

And, authentic leadership does something else: It helps the leader. If you, as a leader, do your best to be transparent, candid, and true to yourself, you’ll walk through every day with a clear conscience, knowing that you are trying to be the best version of yourself. Your interactions will become more natural and you’ll find that others will open up to you easily.

In my book, The Ten Minute Leadership Challenge, I discuss authenticity at length, including strategies to become a more authentic leader. But I want to hear from you. What do you do to put your genuine self forward? What challenges do you face in becoming the authentic leader you’d like to be? Leave me a comment or contact me with a personal message.

Start embracing authentic leadership today!

MARGARET SMITH IS A CAREER COACH, AUTHOR, INSIGHTS®DISCOVERY LICENSED PRACTITIONER, FOUNDER OF UXL, AND CO-FOUNDER OF THE TAG TEAM. SHE HOSTS WORKSHOPS FOR PEOPLE WHO NEED CAREER OR PERSONAL GUIDANCE. YOU CAN VISIT HER WEBSITE AT WWW.YOUEXCELNOW.COM

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