Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.  

Bruce Lee

If you are a new leader in the present-day world, you may find it natural to adopt a new identity that will help you hide your vulnerability and uncertainty.  Everyone has the image of the perfect leader in their head and it is not uncommon for someone to choose to imitate that model in the belief that it will help them deal better with their team. However, research in the area of leadership so far proves that hiding your real self – hiding behind a ‘mask’ – only makes it much harder for a leader to achieve their set goals.

One of the problems emerging as a result of using a ‘mask’ when leading your team is strongly related to the trust of your colleagues. When you are yourself, you behave in a certain natural way – you behave authentically. The problem is that even if your new team members haven’t known you before, they will feel that something is not right, even on subconscious level. Team members will mistrust you without really knowing why.

Although in the beginning you may consider having a ‘mask’ on and playing a role an easy thing to do, many cases involving leaders not being themselves show that over time it becomes harder and harder to maintain this superficial self. This may be a result of the efforts required to maintain what is almost a double identity, or you may start to feel you are ‘betraying’ your real self.

Most leaders who have placed themselves in this position find that once they have cast away the mask and started being themselves, it is easier to communicate with their colleagues and team members, and to achieve the various goals set for the team.

Being yourself, showing who you are and what you want to achieve, produces far better results in a far easier way. It allows you to use the neural pathways which were already developed, so that your actions are instinctive and not premeditated.

It is natural to be anxious about your new leadership position and to think yourself not fit to cope with it. However, the way to actually make things work and start achieving results is not by hiding behind masks and creating new identities, but by being yourself.

Use your own skills and talents and trust in your own judgements.  Someone has seen your leadership potential even if you can’t see it yet.

Do you need help getting to the core of your leadership potential? Need some help removing the mask? Get in touch! We would love to help you.

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