According to Merriam-Webster, “authentic” means to be “true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character.”

As you will learn during my conversation with guest, Emily Drake, the word “authentic” was also 2023 word of the year. It was one of the most looked up words in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary last year.

And the word “authentic” showed up as a top character trait of executive/leadership presence in a 2022 study referenced in a recent article on executive presence by the Harvard Business Review.

And finally, I recently reviewed my personal and professional values, and authenticity and integrity are two of them. I need to live and work authentically to me at this point in my life. Here’s a quick plug if you haven’t reviewed your values lately. Just like you go to the doctor for your annual check-up, you need to review your values annually. Know your values is so important because it drives clarity, especially when you need to make key personal or professional decisions. Google Brene Brown’s values exercise for awesome tools!

The bottom line is that we can’t get away from authentic leadership!

During my chat with Emily, we discussed:

  1. What authentic leadership means to Emily.
  2. What prompted her to start her company, The Collective Academy.
  3. How we can determine what success means to us and how it changes over time.
  4. How we can avoid career complacency, especially when we hear others encourage us to slide into our comfort zones and stay there.
  5. Emily shares some of the hurdles that she has seen ambitious women face and how to overcome them.
  6. And she shares signs of organizational cultures that don’t foster authenticity and what to do about it. 

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