How many books on leadership are sitting on your bookshelf right now? At a glance, I have more than thirty. I have mulled over each one, looking for something original regarding the key components of great leadership. Almost all of these books have given me something new and fresh to consider, which is so important for a leader to continue to learn and grow.

However, it is often easy to move away from the fundamentals of strong leadership and be distracted by the latest theory or angle on leadership. The result? People, who have the passion and potential to be admirable leaders, are preoccupied and unfocused by the newest leadership method. Inevitably, the outcome of this reactive state is that these talented individuals are essentially chasing leadership, instead of practicing leadership.

So how do you stop chasing leadership? By getting back to the basics and seizing the opportunity to intentionally be the person on the outside that you are on the inside, your whole self. But how do you do this?

  • Be True to Yourself: What do you stand for? The finest leaders are those who are true to a deep set of values. They have spent the time and energy in clarifying and defining their values. Furthermore, they focus on identifying why those values are important for them, and use their values to guide action. Leadership is about the commitment to hold up and speak truth to your values, trusting that your values will serve as a guide for action.
  • Make a Commitment: How do you show up on a daily basis? Leadership requires a commitment to bringing your whole self to what you do and the people around you. This involves an extraordinary level of honesty and transparency. Through being accessible and emotionally open people will be empowered and motivated by your commitment to the greater purpose of your work and to the team.
  • Raise Your Voice: Do you speak in your own words? Are your colleagues and employees hearing your own thoughts and words? Strong leaders are willing to initiate difficult conversations in the interest of addressing issues of significance. Through genuine personal expression your credibility is enhanced, supporting a stronger leadership presence.

At the core leadership is about being true to yourself. Stop chasing leadership, as it’s defined by others, and instead focus your efforts on identifying your values, committing to showing up in an authentic way, and genuinely expressing what is important to you, your team, and your organization.