With the upcoming general elections on 8th June, there’s a lot of debate in the UK around who will be fit to run our local communities and country. As we consider which political leader has what it takes, authenticity plays a significant role. Voters will be asking themselves what kind of leader would they want to follow? Who could they trust in these turbulent times?
In the run up to election day, it’s been fascinating watching the various players lay out their stall and noticing how their tone has evolved. Of course, all the ‘big’ speeches are scripted, but who embodies the words most? Who has the gravitas to be taken seriously on a world’s stage? And who is most nimble and believable when put on the spot?
As part of my research for Leading with Gravitas, I’ve interviewed and observed leaders from a range of sectors. With this I have found that those who come across with gravitas have authenticity at their core. They have come to know themselves, warts and all, and have found the strength of character to let themselves be seen. They have learnt to harness their authenticity in a way that’s true to their inner selves, whilst elegantly adapting to the various audiences and circumstances they come across.
The joy and perhaps also the pain of 24/7 media scrutiny is that anyone who creates an identity that is an exaggeratedly polished version of themselves, will at some stage trip up. We have become tired of fake smiles, bland platitudes, meaningless rhetoric and empty soundbites. In a world governed by social media, it is refreshing to come across people who are unashamedly real. We are drawn to them because of their fallibilities and warmed by their honesty. We trust them because in having the guts to show their true nature, rather than covering it up, they send out a clear message that they have nothing to hide.
Whether in politics or business, the leaders we choose should have a clear and consistent vision, an inspirational tone of voice and the confidence to let themselves be seen. When faced with the ballot box, I hope we will trust our own judgement, voting on how authentically our prospective leaders come across and the associated extent to which we trust them. We will be looking for authority and credibility, yes, but we will also be seeking a human being, not a robot, someone who harnesses their real emotions and shares just a little of their inner life.
We have the power to put them in a place of authority. I hope they will have the power to prove that they are a worthy choice.
Leading with Gravitas is available on Amazon at £12.99 paperback and £5.98 Kindle and is the first-ever practical guide for leaders and would-be leaders who want to develop this important leadership skill. Unlike other books on the subject, its analytical approach, based on real life experiences from a broad range of leaders, allows readers to gain a clear understanding of the vital components of gravitas and what they can do to improve.
For more information about Gravitas, and how to accelerate your leading potential, visit the website https://gravitasprogramme