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What is Leadership?

What does leadership actually mean? All too often we think of leadership as a position or title. This is not leadership at all. Leadership is about being real and connecting with people. It is about influencing people, not impressing them! We can’t ignore the importance of leadership in our world today because leadership matters more than ever before. The old way of leading (command and control) doesn’t work anymore; it’s outdated and ineffective due to how interconnected our society has become with technology, social media, etcetera. In this post, I will discuss what REAL leadership looks like by examining the traits that characterize a true leader: integrity, transparency, vulnerability–and earning trust and influence instead of looking for respect from others by making demands or trying to impress them.

Integrity in Leadership

Integrity is the foundation of leadership. Without integrity, there can be no trust and real leadership cannot exist without it. A leader who lacks integrity will face mistrust among followers and won’t find him/herself successful in leading others to accomplish a goal or vision. Integrity means: “The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.” In leadership, integrity is about being honest and having strong moral principles. Leaders with intrinsic leadership value the common good over personal gain.

Transparency in Leadership

You can’t be a REAL leader if you are not transparent. Transparency in leadership is about sharing information and allowing people to see what happens behind the closed door, even when it might reflect poorly on you. It’s okay for mistakes to happen; part of being human is making mistakes and learning from them.

Vulnerability in Leadership

Being a real leader means being vulnerable and showing leadership through influence. One way to show vulnerability is by sharing your fears and frustrations with the team, as well as accepting constructive feedback from them. Being transparent about things that you are struggling with helps build trust among those who report to you; it shows them that they can come to you for anything and you will have their back.


The best leaders are those who influence people through connection, not impressing them. Connection is achieved by being honest and vulnerable with your employees, which in turn strengthens their trust in you as a leader. As a REAL leader committed to integrity, transparency, and vulnerability I have been able to build an even stronger team that will be successful from the start because of my commitment to connecting with each person on our team individually. We’re so excited about all the good things we’ll achieve together! What’s one thing you could do today or this week to improve your relationship with someone? Let me know if there is anything about being a REAL Leader I haven’t covered yet – feel free to email me at