Leadership begins when…

I admire people who ‘show up’ and express themselves — particularly when they take that step towards authentic self-expression. There is much fear in our world, and fear is often the reason we hide or only reveal what we consider to be acceptable about ourselves.

I believe that the fear of revealing ‘who’ we are is greatly misunderstood and that that fear somehow equals rejection by others. Yet most of us know instinctively when someone is hiding (i.e., not showing up)

Consequently, we do not trust them enough to reveal ourselves to them or to accept them for who they appear to be. It takes courage being authentic (being our natural selves). It is one of the greatest gifts we can offer other human beings and ourselves.

Being our authentic selves means that our quality of life is greatly enhanced and there are many rewards. Our relationships improve and we experience less stress. We develop deeper and longer-lasting friendships. Others in our community tend to trust us. The experience of the world seems more real. It seems to me that those who, by age or wisdom, live in the state of authenticity are revered, respected, loved, and admired.

In today’s business world, I believe that we are increasingly being called upon to show up. Because we now communicate so much by email, voicemail, fax, and via the Internet, I believe the need for interpersonal communication is continually growing. The more we use technology to communicate with each other, the greater our need for face-to-face communication, and the more we desire the authenticity of personal contact.

Nothing replaces the nuances of tone and pitch of a human voice or the facial and physical expressions of the communicator; but because we are using these skills less and less, we are losing our ability to show up. Words are only part of the messages we send to each other. Emotion and intent are also carried and amplified by body language and the sound of the human voice.

Voice adds another dimension and video conferencing enhances it further; however nothing seems to replace the connection and understanding that comes from the personal contact that a face-to-face meeting brings.

When I show up in person and can be myself, I am heard in a very different way — a way that starts to build the relationship and deepen the understanding between listener and speaker. This creates an opportunity for a genuine exchange to take place.

Communicating in person is the most powerful form of human interaction.

Always Show Up and make a difference.