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Becoming an Authentic Leader

Dieser Artikel erschien ursprünglich auf TwentyThirty.

Talita Ferreira left the corporate sector after more than 20 years to promote what she believes is missing in leadership today: authenticity. In this article, she explains how it can unleash the potential of leaders and what role the Sustainable Development Goals can play in business.

We need a world where companies are a place for individuals to grow and develop. Where profits are the outcome of passionate people pursuing purpose and amazing partnerships to ensure we are all working for the common greater good, sustaining our planet for the generations to come.

But how do we achieve this in a world that is over-commercialized, over-commoditized and where financial analysts and shareholders drive companies to pursue ROI (Return on Investment) and EBITDA (Earnings before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization) without thinking about the significant long-term impacts on society, the environment, and the world at large?

Hopefully, we can start to lead the way. Firstly, through pursuing real authenticity everywhere and with everyone. Secondly, through consumers becoming responsible leaders in every aspect of their lives. Finally, by starting to measure business by its contribution to the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals and not merely by the profit imperative.

Real authenticity: After spending two decades in corporate life and observing thousands of leaders, I have concluded that real authenticity can only emerge through equal amounts of emotional and social intelligence, being conscious and connected in equal measure.

Consciousness is a deep understanding and awareness of ourselves, what drives us and what motivates us. This aspect includes our behaviors, our set of core values, our passions, and, at the heart of everything, our own individual purpose in this world. Without this deeper understanding of ourselves, it is not possible to connect to other people in a more meaningful way. Connectedness is what leads us to a higher level of purpose-driven collaboration and true partnership, which elevates us above the ego and fear-based, competitive, control-related behaviors that have become so familiar to us in everyday life.

For deeper, meaningful relationships to occur, several crucial ingredients need to be in place, including:

  • trust fostered through an unconditional respect for difference;
  • not being afraid to show your vulnerability and realizing that it is rather a strength;
  • learning to suspend judgment of other people; and
  • being brave enough to face your deeper fears.

For too long, we have brought a different version of ourselves to our work than the one living at home with our loved ones. In the current business paradigm, we want to move away from the silo orientation and the command and control hierarchies holding us back from true partnership and from creating something truly greater than ourselves. When we resonate more deeply with ourselves, other people, and our passions, we start to understand the interconnectedness of all things far better; we want to do more for our planet and further our purpose within the world. This connectedness and integration in all aspects of our lives should be fostered within organizations to reduce the impact of stress and increase well-being.

Dieser Artikel von erschien am 06. Februar 2018 auf TwentyThirty, dem Online Magazin der BMW Stiftung Herbert Quandt.