What does an authentic leader look like? Dr. James Kelley has some ideas, thanks to his long work with business leader biographies and his own life experiences. In his remarkable book The Crucible’s Gift: 5 Lessons from Authentic Leaders Who Thrive in Adversity, he narrows down the common traits that authentic leaders have and how we can practice them in our leadership positions to make a difference.
While our discussion covered many excellent topics, I’d like to talk about three different points Dr. Kelley made which struck me as particularly important:
Self-Awareness: Business leaders have trouble with self-awareness, especially if they already have a profile of their own strengths and weaknesses, which may not be that accurate. Truly self-aware leaders know to make space for honest feedback and to understand that they always have more to learn about themselves.
Compassion: Compassion is sometimes seen as a weakness in the business world, but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, compassion shows strength, understanding, and the ability to bind teams together and help their care about company goals. It’s one of the most valuable traits inauthentic leaders.
Accepting Your Flaws: Understanding that you are flawed can be difficult. Accepting those flaws and finding ways to work around them is even harder. But the best leaders understand their flaws and then use them to become even better, creating support systems and using their experiences to help others around them.
Throughout our conversation, Dr. Kelley provided life stories, advice from his experience with other business leaders, and many insights into the ways that you can more effective and self-aware – including methods to spot the “micro-moments of meaning” in your daily life and capitalize on them.
Interested in hearing more? You can listen to the full episode right now!
Thanks for listening today. I appreciate your time so very much.
Ways to contact Dr. James Kelley: