Laura Clark Barefoot, Ph.D.
Barefoot Chaplain Intervention Services
May 19, 2016
“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” E.E. Cummings
Not long ago, I was gifted the opportunity to share my opinion with someone I considered to be a universal mentor. “Universal” is the way I like to refer to someone, or something, that came into my life by way of the universe’s choice. Undoubtedly, I wouldn’t have chosen him to be an instrumental person who was questionably responsible for acting as a role model during a pastime in my life which I treasure. None the less, he asked me to describe my definition of a successful leader in the workplace.
In an instant, exactly, an instant, one word rolled off my tongue, “Authenticity!” I replied. He immediately defended his ego, and minimized my assertion. However, I stood upon my principals and began to ponder the answer I had blurted out.
Admittedly, it’s perplexing, to be tempted to choose between expectations and effectiveness, in the workplace, or being genuine and original in what we do and who we are. Leadership and life experience truly begins when we question our own sense of self, honestly, and as a result we can learn to lead more effectively. Arriving at the realization we are human and we learn through trial and error, we are able to develop our own personal style.
People tend to be more comfortable in the presence of someone who is honest and original. Besides, when someone is the real deal, authentic and true, they’re one of a kind. The way I see it, there’s no competition for a one of a kind classic.
We are all entitled to an opinion, that’s for sure. Personally, when I leave this existence and enter into the next, I would like to be remembered as a kind and genuine woman. Clever and effective…not so much.