I’m going through Wharton’s leadership certificate course on executive presence and influence and one of the principles in the first module is “All the World’s a Stage”. The summary thought behind that is that we are always on stage and people are always looking at what we say or do or wear or drive. The question now is: as a leader should we act on stage or should we be our true selves?
Stage – “a raised floor or platform, typically in a theater, on which actors, entertainers, or speakers perform.”
I’ve never really considered my leadership to be an act. I just never saw it that way. I’ve always leaned towards being authentic, transparent and true.
That has worked for me for the longest time. However I would not disagree with the fact that there must be improvements in how I lead. I am certain that I need to change some things in myself in order to lead others better.
Leadership is a continuous learning and improvement after all.
But this notion that the world is a stage and I need to perform or act for others is completely foreign to me. How can I reconcile being an actor to being authentic in how I lead?
Recent events in my organization has surely opened up my thoughts to this. I wonder if people would rather have a leader who they are happy about and who says and does things to please them rather than a leader who will lead from a place that is true to who they are?
I still do not have an answer for this and I will surely be pondering this as the days go by but one thing is for sure: Leadership is a lot more complicated than how I thought about it some years ago.