Are you full of intentions and ideas for the New Year?

The desire to grow (as a person or as a leader), is one of the best drivers to initiate a change. No wonder it underpins more than 44% of New Year resolutions!

However, it’s never easy to get clarity on where you are and where your next leadership challenge will be.

You want to navigate change easily and achieve more this year? Be authentic first.

As Thomas Jefferson said: “Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom”.

If you’re going to make an effort to develop yourself, better make sure it is to fulfil your true potential!

Here’s a quick way to be authentic in times of change, so that you can steer your next leadership challenge.


To be authentic in times of change, don’t be afraid of feedback


Asking the right questions can bring a lot of clarity to a difficult problem.

Only the views of trusted people will clearly tell you where you are now. If you want to be authentic in times of change and in a way that leads to self-development, seek feedback.

Could you find 3 trusted people to give you a 360 degree review? Why not have a powerful conversation and ask, openly, where you need to improve?

Try this simple set of 3 questions:

  1. What do I need to keep doing, because it’s working well for me and for others?
  2. What do I need to change, because I can do better?
  3. What do I need to stop doing, because it doesn’t bring much value (and drains energy)?

Receiving feedback can be hard and emotionally demanding. But when you’re on a journey of expansion, it’s a necessary step to check if where you think you are, and where you are in reality, are in a similar position on the map.


Being authentic is not a requirement for success - Simon Sinek - A quick way to be authentic in times of change


Be specific: eliminate bias


Skipping the confirmation bit can be disastrous at times…How many arguments can be avoided by a simple confirmation of understanding?

  • If you need to pay more attention to some of your leadership qualities, which ones?
  • If your improvement is related to being more aware of your emotions, how does it manifest?

Your journey to being authentic in times of change starts with being clear on what you want to accomplish. Do you know precisely what the pain point is? Can you confirm this with someone you trust?


Laser-focused goals are important in making a difference. But only if your approach is not biased in the first place!


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Revisit your strengths and weaknesses


“Challenge” implies that you’re going to test your abilities at some point. When you’re about to stretch yourself, it is best to know what you’re starting with. This will help you measure your progress.

A review of your strengths and weaknesses can give you a clear starting point. Here’s a great way to be authentic in times of change! In each area for improvement, can you list your best strength and biggest weakness?

Let’s say someone told you to improve the way you deliver feedback, because you come across as too demanding or too sharp.

  • Theme: Feedback
  • Strength: Open/honest
  • Weakness: Emotional control/empathy

The game of development is to expand your strengths and educate yourself about your weaknesses. Try an 80/20 rule: 80% work on weaknesses; 20% on strengths.


That’s right, you’ve guessed it: weaknesses should be your priority. To be authentic in times of change is to have the humility to accept that you need to learn more and educate yourself (via academic training, or by finding situations where you can experiment new behaviours or skills).

But ignoring strengths is also common; why would you invest more time into something you’re already doing well? But you can turn strengths into opportunities for yourself! Going deeper into something you know well boosts your confidence, and gets you on the path of mastery.


Change will only stick if it's authentic in the first place - A quick way to be authentic in times of change


How to stay motivated through change


One of the fundamentals of resistance is simple: we don’t like to do things that seem difficult, or take too long to bring results. Our brain is wired not to change, and won’t trigger its reward circuit if we jump into something that is scary.

As you start listing a few goals for each category, don’t over-engineer it. If you wish to protect your motivation, take the first immediate step. Simple steps give you granular perspective, create opportunities to acknowledge success and are great ways to build resilience.

The main challenge of being authentic in times of change is not achieving our goals…it’s staying motivated to grow!


If you wish to take on new challenges without feeling you’re flying too close to the sun, it’s important to work on fears holding you back to change and target expansion (instead of taking a leap of faith and hoping for the best, which your brain hates).

By asking for feedback and getting an external perspective, you can be authentic and target the right place to make an impact. As the year starts, find your balance; push a little more and explore the unknown – but beware of jumping off the cliff!

What are your top tips for being more authentic? Share with us in the comments!

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