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Why Leadership Requires Authenticity

Source | | Soulaima Gourani

It’s often said that the easiest thing in the world is to be yourself, but ironically for most people, it’s can the hardest thing to do. After all, wearing a mask feels much more comfortable as it protects you from the fear of nobody liking you in the first place. However, after a while, pretending to be someone that you are not can become very draining, disingenuous and can even leave you in a very lonely and isolated place.

Of course, the pressure to be perfect is real, which is another reason that many of us operate in pretense. However, the pathway to success is not usually paved with perfection. Even some of the greatest companies in the world went through seasons of hard trails, bankruptcies and even starting all over again (read the story about Phil Knight, the cofounder of Nike). And, who would ever think that infamous Shark Tank investors like Daymond John would ever face hardships after starting his companies. John openly talks about the numerous times he had to endure business failures and restart his ventures all over again. However, it’s the transparency about our trials that can help others believe that they can overcome too.

The other day I was on the radio and the interview was about my life as a female entrepreneur. I did share quite a lot about myself, and I was a little anxious about whether or not people could handle some of the hardships I was sharing. Could they live with the image of me being an imperfect leader? Could they handle me sharing all of my faults and shortcomings? 

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