Danessa Knaupp is an executive coach dedicated to shifting the global conversation on leadership. She has supported executives across every major industry and has developed a reputation as a candid, compassionate and courageous leadership partner. She regularly addresses C-suite audiences on how to harness the power of real authenticity (not #authenticity) to drive measurable business results. She is the author of the recently released and already best-selling leadership manual, Naked at Work: A Leader’s Guide to Fearless Authenticity.
Find Danessa's book here.
Check out another episode on psychological safety here.
- Authenticity is a paradox: It can work for or against you.
- If you show up as authentic outside the bounds of your organization, or if you are authentic in service to yourself (i.e., “I am who I am… take it or leave it”), there’s no good there.
- When considering how to be authentic, ask yourself if it will distract from or reinforce your message; if it is appropriate for your environment or not.
- Think about your authenticity in the context of your effectiveness.
- We are a million versions of ourselves—and all of them can be authentic. We just bring forward different things depending on who we are with (grandma, friend, co-worker, etc.).
- Authenticity is bringing your full self forward in service to your organization.
- According to research, teams led by authentic leaders are more effective across two dimensions: 1. Day-to-day managerial effectiveness (productivity, fewer mistakes, absenteeism, etc.) 2. Strategic areas (solving problems without the leader, bouncing back from unexpected news, operating in ambiguity).
- The psychological safety that an authentic leader brings to a team empowers the members to try things they might not otherwise try and to find alignment with the team.
- To be an authentic leader, focus on three things: Compassion, candor, and courage.
- Bring this version of you to work: Someone who recognizes that who you are—as you are—is enough; someone who embraces where you are and reframes it so that it will serve you; someone who looks at failure differently—as a way to move you forward.
- Remember: Authenticity is not about you. It is hard, and it is in service to your team and organization.
QUESTIONS TO INSPIRE US TO ACTION
- What is some lesson, saying, or experience that continues to influence your leadership to this day? Forgetting the lyrics to a song for a high school performance THREE nights in a row! This was a defining failure that made her fearless.
- Use three descriptors to finish this sentence: “A leader is…” Compassionate, brave, and clear.
- What is a question that leaders should be asking either themselves or others? What am I not seeing?
- What book would you recommend to leaders? The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
- If you could get every listener to start doing something THIS week to help them be a better leader, what would it be? Start doing something you’re really bad at to remind yourself what it’s like to be a beginner and to re-learn the lesson of grace.
- As a general life principle, is it better to ask “why?” or “why not?” “Why not?” because “Why?” keeps you where you are; “Why not?” pushes you into new territory.
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