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Choose To Take The Elusive Path To An Authentic Leadership Voice

Written by: Diana Damyanova, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise


Many theories exist on what leadership is, how it should look like, what's the 'right' style. Yet, people's leadership styles are rarely developed intentionally. They are a function of company cultures, social environment, and overall circumstances. This works for some people some of the time. If a leader wants to do better than that and respectively magnify their impact, they could benefit from a more intentional approach of defining their authentic leadership voice.

What is the best time to develop an authentic leadership voice?

There is not really a bad time to start working on building an authentic leadership voice. In the beginning, working on it can look simply like noticing and noting what resonates vs. not. When a person is approaching or entering a leadership position (regardless of title), changing roles, teams, companies, industries, etc. is a great time to step up efforts and test different approaches to understand better what resonates. As the pandemic continues, ways of working are being reinvented at what seems like a daily basis, which has magnified the need for leadership at all levels. In other words - there is no better time, than now.

How do you know if you already have an authentic leadership voice?

In short, if you're asking yourself the question, then chances are that It is still a work in progress. If you’re still not sure, here are some situations that can indicate a leader's voice might benefit from a boost in authenticity include:

  • You're not able to realize the impact you desire

  • You feel like actions go against your own beliefs and are out of integrity

  • You feel unheard or misunderstood even when you're communicating clearly

  • You are in a leadership role but can't convince anyone to follow your lead

  • Your success is inconsistent without a reasonable explanation

What often drives the gap in your target voice is:

  1. Focus on management vs. leadership

  2. Using another person's style instead of one that fits you

  3. You have the right style and you're just not using your voice

So, what is an authentic leadership voice?

Definition: A way of carrying and presenting yourself in your environment and communication style that is true to you, impactful, and effortless. An authentic leadership voice lives in the overlap of:

  • Your own personal values and drivers

  • Your goals and objectives

  • The setting in which you operate

Based on this definition your authentic leadership voice is not fixed it evolves over time with you and your environment. Respectively, people are not fully exhibiting their true voice when they betray their values, don't speak up for their personal goals, or when they have not adapted their voice to the environment they are in currently.

Putting it all together finding your own voice

The bottom line is that using your authentic leadership voice should feel effortless, fulfilling, and impactful. Finding it and bringing it to life should not be time- and energy-consuming, but it requires intentionality. The real challenge to get there is deciding to taking the time to figure out the answers for yourself - what are your values, drivers, goals, objectives, and setting characteristics.

Once you answer these questions for yourself, you are ready to start the fun part of the journey - incorporating them in your day-to-day! Three simple steps can help along the way - Notice, Choose, Practice. Commitment to those steps is what will make your authentic leadership voice stick and lead you to where you want to go.

Follow me on LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


Diana Damyanova, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Diana Damyanova is a former quant, turned strategy and management consultant with experience in variety of industries, most recently financial services. After 10 years in corporate, Diana left that world to start her own Growth and Performance coaching practice. Diana works primarily with unfulfilled overachievers who struggle to let go of constantly sprinting, holding their breath, and going nowhere they care about. She partners with her clients to finally exhale and start moving intentionally and powerfully towards their vision as Satisfied Achievers.



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