It is amazing how many books have been written on leadership. I bet I own most of them! I love to read about leadership, however, one of the things I have realized is that if I am not careful, I am trying to act out everything I am reading. I am grateful for inspiring books and role models to look up to, but the truth for all of us is that we have to know ourselves and create our own personal leadership style.
I once heard a quote that has stuck with me, “All of us are born originals, but most of us will die carbon copies”. I want to be a leader who is authentic to myself and those I lead. I love this definition of cookie-cutter from wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn, “having the same appearance, as if mass-produced”.
I don’t think any of us want to live up to that definition as a leader. I encourage you to review who you are as a leader. It is important to allow others to shape and influence you, but it is more important that you know how to apply that to who you are and who you are not.
An authentic leader is not a cookie-cutter leader, no matter how good the cookie-cutter is. An authentic leader knows their personal values, where those values came from and how to apply them in their leadership. You are the only one who can determine this. No one can decide it for you. You are the only you and you are not a cookie-cutter! Each of us is one of a kind. No one else has your story.
What do you think about cookie-cutter leadership? How do you stay above the line to be authentic?