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I have shared to you previously the secrets of the successful, is IMAGE. An acronym that means I is for Innovation (if you haven't read it yet, read here), M is for Mastery (you can find it here), the next letter is "A". What is it for?
"A" is for Authenticity. The old model of leadership, as I've mentioned before was very much about power you get from the authority of your position and the influence you'd have from a title, as you've now learned so well. But in this radically new period of business, your ability to have an impact and make a contribution comes more from who you are as a person than from the authority you receive by your placement on some org chart. It's never been so important to be trustworthy. It's never been so important to be someone others respect. It's never been so important to keep the promises you make to your teammates and customers. And it's never been so essential to be authentic. I should also add that it's never been so hard to show authenticity because of all the social pressure to be like everyone else. Media, our peers, and the world around us pound us relentlessly with messages designed to have us live their values versus our own. There's a huge pull to behave like the majority. But leadership really is about closing your ears to the noisy voices of others so you can more clearly hear the mission and call within yourself. Makes me think of the words of Dr. Seuss: "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." And that's authenticity is all about. It's about feeling really safe in your own skin and learning to trust yourself so that you work under your values, express your original voice, and be the best you can be. It's about knowing who you are, what you stand for, and then having the courage to be yourself - in every situation rather than only when it's convenient. It's about being real, consistent, and congruent so who you are on the inside is reflected by the way you perform on the outside. And being authentic and true to yourself also means that you meet your potential and work at brilliance - because that's what you truly are.
And the great American Ralph Waldo Emerson reminds us 'To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.'
Jack Welch used "Don't lose yourself on the way to the top."
Warren Buffett made the point equally neatly when he observed: "There will never be a better you than you."
Oscar Wilde noted: "Be Yourself. Everyone else is taken."
Authenticity is one of the deepest things Leaders should exemplify. Few things are as powerful when it comes to being a leader interested in positively influencing all those around you than being a person who's comfortable in your own self and fully presenting all you truly are.
To be authentic isn't just about being true to your values. Being authentic means being true to your talents. When you go to work every day and present your leadership best, that's a superb example of authenticity in action - and being in alignment. 
I can tell a person who is authentic a mile away. I can sniff their sincerity and sense their realness. And their passion for greatness touches the longing for greatness within me. And that allows me to relate to them. When you give yourself permission to be open, real and brilliant around others, you give others permission to be open, real and brilliant around you. Just being around makes them feel safe - and heroic. They begin to relax and open up. Trust grows. And amazing things start to happen.
"Authenticity is about being true to who you are, even when everyone around you wants to be someone else," said basketball great Michael Jordan. In his book Driven from Within he makes a key point: stay committed to your mission, values, and the full self-expression of your inner leader even when people doubt you. When people say you'll fail or suggest you're not good enough, stand strong in your own skin and don't let them tear you down. Because leadership has a lot to do with believing in yourself when no one else believes in you."
And Bono, the U2 singer, spoke of the importance of authenticity in the new world of ours in these words: "Please, let go of your ego, please be you and no one else. You are so beautiful how you are."
Just remember that the more you feed your ego - which is nothing more than the artificial part of you that you've constructed to receive approval from the majority - and lose sight of who you really are at your core, the hungrier the ego will get.
So your ego is the social part of ourselves that has grown the more we've tried to become the people the world around us wants us to be versus the people we truly are.
I remember reading a story of a student who met a wise elder from his community on the street one day. The young man admired the elder fro his achievements as well as for his strength of character. He asked the wise man if he ever had weak thoughts and if he ever succumbed to the allure of the ego, which wants us to run our lives by superficial attractions like titles and social status. The elder replied: "Of course, I have weak thoughts and my ego tries to get me off track every single day. This happens because I'm human being. But I also have my authenticity side, which my essential nature and all I really am. That part of me creates the noble and brave thoughts - and keeps me on track to become my greatest self. So it's almost as if I have two dogs inside me. A good dog that wants to lead me to where I dream of going, and that bad dog that tries to take me off my ideal path.' So which one wins? asked the student. That's easy, replied the elder. "The one I feed the most."
Leaders should check their egos at the front door every morning before they walk into work. Rather than slavishly obsessing about pursuits like larger offices and bigger pay checks that society wants us to run our lives by, they harness their complete focus and awesome capabilities on doing their best work, making a difference in the lives of their teammates and customers, and building a better organization. Rather than defining their success by what they get, they define their success by what they give. That not only makes them special in the eyes of everyone around them, it also fills them up with such a sense of fulfilment and happiness. Because they know they are spending their lives well, in pursuit of a meaningful cause.
If you did learn something from this article, pay it forward. Share it to a friend who might just need this in his or her leadership in life. May your dreams come true! 🙂

Have you ever said the phrase which begins with, "If I had superpowers I would ____________."?
One has to be aware of his power before he/she can use it. In any of the movies you've watched with heroes possessing superpowers, they all have the knowledge of their power before they were able use them. 
This post is not aimed at making you having to possess superpowers, instead this is geared towards informing you that you too, can be a superhero, in the course, place, event, or circumstance that you are in right now, as long as you know, and bear in mind these four natural powers.
NATURAL POWER #1:

Everyone of us alive in this moment has the power to go to work each day and express the Absolute Best within us. And you need no title to do that.

NATURAL POWER #2:

Every one of us alive today has the power to inspire, influence, and elevate each person we meet by the gift of a great example. And you need no title to do that.

NATURAL POWER #3:

Every one of us alive with life can passionately drive positive change in the face of negative conditions. And you need no title to do that.

NATURAL POWER #4:

Every one of us alive to the truth about leadership can treat all stakeholders with respect, appreciation, and kindness - and in so doing raise the organization's culture to best of breed. And you need no title to do that.

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I would love to hear what you think of this post. Please leave your reply below, and share this if you want to your friends who needs to realize they too have powers.

 

 

 

 

We planned a “chilling” session.
My friends decided to meet up in a hotel where there is a hot pool! We went
there even with the heavy rains and threats of flood (flood usually occurs when
it rains). Yet everyone is still equally excited to go. So we pushed through
with the plan!
Once there, we did not take a
stall on dipping ourselves into the hot water of the pool, while we talked and
enjoying the hot bath, one of us took notice of a cute baby girl in the pool,
tried to talk to the baby and frantically commented “she’s so cute/beautiful”
(something like that, don’t know what the exact words were). To our surprise the
father of the baby girl responded and that sparked the fruitful conversation!
We allowed him to talk more as we
sensed a lot of wisdom is overflowing and he’s got a good sense of humor, so we
obliged to listen. True enough, we enjoyed it!
As we were heading home, there
were silences all of us thinking, amazed at the information we've amassed and
spoiled from that man full of wisdom. So to remind me of those things I've
learnt, I am going to try to recall some important insights I got from him.

Investment versus expenses
He’s an architect building English
houses in the Philippines. He never intended to do so though, until he was
moved and inspired to stay and bring the architecture of his country to our
country. He has earned so much experience that he knew what he can do with the
houses here. He has a unique style though, he creates the house at his own
expense, live on it for a time being when it’s not yet sold, then when someone
comes to buy the house, they’ll move out.
In the process of construction, some
people told him or commented, that he’s been spending so much on the details of
his masterpieces “Mahal man! Aguy!/Naku Ang Mahal!/Oh! Very expensive” Some
would say. “Gasto ra kaau/Masyadong magastos/Just too costly.” But he gave us
what he usually say: “I never viewed everything as an expense! I look at them
as an investment. I am building a house with all the necessary details,
regardless of the cost as long as I build the intended purpose. After all, I
can sell these houses at much higher prices.”
You see, we often look at the
things that we do as “costing” something. That is our perspective. But if we
get the value or know how much value we can get from doing it, we would not
count the cost. Knowing the value of what you've spent for would liberate you
from the poor mindset of getting just what is cheap. Getting the best quality
isn't equal to getting just anything in the market. This architect knows the
value of what he’s building.
There is an instance he shared
that affirms his statement about investment, he was looking for something that
would connect two tubes/pipes of the same size, the local worker suggested that
they get an old slipper cut it and it would help them connect the two. He
refused and said, no! let’s find that what I needed. He was able to find it in
one of the local stores, and he happily connected the two tubes/pipes. His
worker asked, “sir how much?” he said, “P25.00”, the worker responded, “Oh!
Slippers are free!”
Then he said something like this
(I did not record the conversation, so I just phrase it closest to his exact
words)
"I never mind spending, because I
know I’m building a house worth more than a million. So I want the best of
every detail, so when people buy what I built, they would see that they get the
value of what they paid."
Question: Do you know how much
value you will get from what you are doing right now? If you do, then you know
cost is not an issue to you. Are you an artist? Are you providing services? Are
you doing something that people might not know the value?
I encourage you to just sit down,
and look at your creation, your service, your goods, and evaluate. Are you
giving the value of the product that you’re clients/customers are paying for?
Then consider what investments you would have to make to improve or deliver the
best product or craft that you can make.

Research
Such a profound word! But he
repeatedly used that when we were conversing. Amazingly he knows the stores in
the city, where he could best get the materials he would use. He says, I have a
good researcher, but he does his own research too. He knows what he’s doing and
would love to explore on things. He said, he would not inadvertently spend his
money on something that he might be able to get a lower cost. So he said, he do
care to check prices, and it’s good that his wife is a good researcher.
I imagined he is more aware of
the hardware stores in the city than most of us. He’s a hands-on developer that
pays attention to every detail, and even on costing. I even started to think he’d
make a good cost accountant in construction firms than me, because he knows
these stores and their pricing and these people in the industry!

I was thinking, this man, an
English one, white, knows all these in my city. He’s done quite well in his
research, and he could even remember some of the prices or range of prices he
makes for each of the investments he’d take.
I was thinking then, “If you
found a good investment, that’s good. But check if that investment is priced
the best. Meaning, is it pegged the lowest price possible?” There are different
prices of the same quality for each product, and the best researcher gets the
cheapest with the same quality. Be wise in your investment, do your own
research.
Functionality

I was also amazed at how he
commented on the way the houses he’s built and building, addresses the needs of
the user/buyer/occupants. He said, every part of the English house he’s made or
is making serves a purpose. He said, he doesn't want his client or himself
spend a dime on something that wouldn't work or serve a purpose. He commented
about some of the developers he knew, who wouldn't bother or care to know
whether the houses they built are all functional or does it fall apart after
some time? He said, so far, his clients are all satisfied with the houses he’s
built for them.
He even took time to recall to
us, how he’s served a multi-millionaire mafia man who’s been satisfied with his
work for more than 15 years in England. He’s recalled funny stories, but again
supports his statement that such man was really satisfied with the houses,
clubs, offices he’s built for that man. He was smiling or laughing at some
scenery he recounted with us, and yeah, openly said, he’s quite satisfied with
the feedback of the works he’s delivered.
(This is exciting, because such principle is applied by my coach friend who's into fitness industry. What an affirmation to what he's upholding in the industry! God and the universe must have planned all these for us to meet this man.)
Application to me: Am I buying
things or spending on things that are functional? Or pure aesthetics? Or
perhaps you could also ask yourself that question. What do you spend your money
for? Is it just for display or does it really serve a purpose? Or perhaps, you
have something right now that you didn't maximize the purpose of? Say a
smartphone, but you only used it for calls and texts? Have you explored every
possible good use of your phone? Your bag, have you discovered every
compartment that could serve a purpose? Is everything in your home functional?
Or mere decoration and aesthetics? Are you satisfied with the use of what you
spent for? If you’re client will have a lot of choices, would you be confident
that he’s going back to you again?
These are just some of the
insights I got, I am sure my friends also have their take home insights too and there are a lot more… But these
are the things I could remember, will try to recall more and add them here
later…