top of page
  • Writer's pictureTia Teamer

How to Recenter Your Priorities to Step into Authentic Leadership

Updated: Apr 17

The importance of finding authentic alignment with the work.

We have discussed the importance of leaders acting in alignment and integrity with their values and those of the organization. This skill builds the trust among stakeholders necessary for leaders to move the work forward. Leaders are also more than a job description or role in an organizational chart, and those who rise to leadership positions often do so beca

use they are ambitious as well as passionate about the work. Just as leaders must keep the individuals who make up their key stakeholders top of mind, the individual in the role of leader must not be forgotten, as to do so risks rapid burnout and disengagement.

Leaders can balance personal ambitions, authenticity, and career growth with a genuine commitment to serving the organization’s mission. By aligning priorities and committing to transparency about motivations and goals, leaders can “recenter” what first drew them to the organization.

The first step is to understand and clearly define what is important to the individual personally, and what is important for their specific role. Then, measure those priorities against the organization’s mission and vision. While complete alignment may not exist, often a few points of overlap provide the needed inspiration to serve both personal and operational goals and can help a leader reconnect with why they wanted to work for the organization in the first place.

Helping stakeholders find alignment is a leader’s job.

Aligning personal values with organizational objectives is critical to sustainable and impactful leadership. When leaders align their values with the organization’s objectives, they create a sense of purpose and direction that drives the team toward a common goal. Alignment helps to establish a culture of trust, transparency, and accountability that is essential for leading high-performing teams that can deliver on short-term priorities and move the organization toward long-term transformation.

Leaders who align their values with the organization’s objectives are more likely to inspire their team members to work towards a shared vision. Leaders can “lead by example” and help their team members connect personal values, priorities, and career goals with the success of the organization.

Authentic leaders also better understand their team’s motivations and position employees to use their unique strengths and abilities. Considering the ambitions of employees and stakeholders alongside the mission and vision of the organization allows leaders to position team members to support the mission in significant ways. This alignment helps create a sense of ownership and responsibility among team members for the success of the mission and leads to increased engagement and motivation.

Authentically aligning individual priorities with organizational purpose should be an ongoing process. There may be times when alignment cannot be made or is no longer strong enough to maintain a source of engagement and commitment to the work. When that happens, the best thing for the individual and the organization may be for that person to continue to the next step of their career journey. However, by “recentering” the mission, leaders can often ensure that everyone is working towards the same goals and that the organization is moving in the right direction.

Authentic leaders can reflect on their own and their team’s priorities as they align with the priorities of the organization by considering the following:

  • Are you staying true to yourself as you commit to the vision, mission goals, and objectives outlined in the organizational charter?

  • Are your goals aligned with the interests and needs of the people that your serve? If not, are you committed to creating goals that are?

  • Are you being asked to or feeling a need to bend or compromise on your critical values?

  • Are you being authentic and transparent about the level of risk you are willing to take in positions of leadership? Is your comfort with risk appropriate to what is needed in the current moment of the organization’s lifecycle?

  • In deciding to take on a new role, can you identify and define clear benefits, personally and professionally, in your increased capacity?

  • Are you willing to allow others to have the spotlight and position your employees and team members to shine in their areas of strength and expertise?

  • As you reflect on your values as a leader, do you focus on what and why you want to lead?

  • Is there a project you want to see to completion or a team you want to empower and grow?

  • Is it your aim to move up in the organization, gain a promotion, or position yourself for a later role?

  • Is there a specific community you want to serve or an outcome you want to achieve that can be found in the organization’s strategic plan or founding documents?

Be honest with yourself. There is no wrong answer.

2 views0 comments


bottom of page