October 19


Maintaining Leadership Balance Deliberate vs Authentic: Video Tip

By Sara Canaday

October 19, 2016

communication skills, effective leadership, high potentials, leader, leadership, leadership brand, leadership definition, leadership skills, leadership styles, personal brand, professional success, tupes of leadership

Many leaders can come off as either too polished and phony or not polished and poised enough.  Knowing when and how to be authentic versus deliberate is the key to maintaining your leadership effectiveness.

Know someone who might benefit from this career tip or find it interesting? Go ahead…pass it along. Better yet, leave me your thoughts or questions on boosting your resilience.

How can I sound more authentic?

Am I too polished?

Can I communicate more effectively?


For years, leaders were trained and advised to be more deliberate in their interactions. Polished and professional at all times. Calm in the storm. Carefully prepared for any type of communications. They worked hard to come across as confident, focused and in charge. They wanted to understand the needs of the people around them…and they tailored their messages to land with the greatest impact. It’s an effective strategy.

Unfortunately, some leaders got so wrapped up in being deliberate, they started to sound stilted. Phony. Disingenuous.

That explains why we started seeing more authentic leaders gaining in popularity and success. They were sincere…they showed equal parts of confidence and vulnerability…they were relatable. Human. When it came to leading and inspiring teams, authenticity was giving them a real edge.

But…you guessed it…some leaders started taking it too far. In the name of “authentic leadership,” they would hold nothing back. They used authenticity as an excuse not to filter their thoughts and comments…not to adjust their approaches. Even if their communications were a bit “in your face” or even insensitive, they made no apologies for that. After all, they were just being authentic.

Good intentions perhaps, but not the same impact. Either way, the overly deliberate and overly authentic leaders believed they were modeling a positive communication style…but they were actually undermining their own efforts to influence others.

In both cases, the moral of the story is the same:  you can get too much of a good thing.

So what’s the solution? The most effective leaders find a strong balance between authenticity and intentionality.

They are both confident and humble
Decisive, yet flexible
Highly energetic, yet calm in a crisis

To maximize your influence as a leader, avoid the temptation to become hyper-focused on the popular communication style of the day. A balanced approach is timeless. Blending authentic and deliberate leadership will give you the control and flexibility you need….to dramatically accelerate your business success.

Until next time, I’m Sara Canaday.

Sara Canaday

About the author

Sara began her journey working full-time while she earned an MBA. As she climbed the ladder of corporate America, she repeatedly observed a surprising phenomenon: the most successful people weren’t necessarily the ones with the highest IQ or best job skills. She recognized instead that career advancement was much more closely linked with how people applied their knowledge and talents — their capacity to collaborate, communicate, and influence others.

Today, Sara is happily fulfilling that commitment as a keynote speaker, author, and executive coach. These venues have given her the opportunity to mentor and support thousands of people in diverse situations, inspiring many of them to move from insight to action with dramatic career results.

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