Her writing was irresistible to me. I felt pretty sure that, if I ever met Elizabeth Gilbert in real life, she’d be exactly the way I experienced her through her words: smart, funny, self-deprecating (but not in a harsh way), and so very human.
One of her recent articles, “Don’t worry about being original. Just be authentic”, caught my eye and captured my heart.
In it, she shares that she doesn’t care much about originality, and she even gets annoyed by people’s efforts to be original, because it can feel forced and artificial.
What she loves is authenticity.
Here’s her example:
“Sometimes I’ll be signing books after an event, and a woman will approach the table and say, “I’m afraid I don’t have anything clever or original to say to you…and you’ve probably heard this a million times…but I just wanted to tell you that your book changed my life.”
And it’s true that I have heard those words before. Maybe even many times before. (I am very blessed, after all, that so many people care so deeply about EAT PRAY LOVE.) But there will just be something about THIS woman — something about the way she spoke those simple words, something about the purity of her intention— that will go right through me…and my heart will crack wide open, and my eyes will fill with tears.
She wasn’t trying to impress me, she wasn’t trying to be memorable…she just spoke from her heart, and thus she moved me.
(Meanwhile, at that very same event, somebody else might approach the signing table with the intention of being original and unique and clever, and there will be something about HER energy that just makes me want to hide under the table…for real!)”
Your Limbic Brain is wired to connect, and it makes decisions based on feelings.
Leaders with a powerful presence and charisma use more of their Limbic Brain in their every day communication.
They have high levels of self-awareness and emotional intelligence. Authenticity, for them, is a no-brainer (I couldn’t help myself!) – and an integral tool in compelling people to follow the leader.
They talk about what they believe, share their vision, and include themselves in the mission. They connect.
People follow them because they’re inspired, and they want to – not because they have to.
It begs the questions:
How authentic are you as a leader?
How are you trying to move your people to commitment rather than compliance?