Episode 86

A Guide to Fearless Authenticity with Danessa Knaupp

Danessa Knaupp is an executive coach dedicated to shifting the global conversation on leadership. She has supported executives across every major industry and has developed a reputation as a candid, compassionate and courageous leadership partner.  She regularly addresses C-suite audiences on how to harness the power of real authenticity (not #authenticity) to drive measurable business results. She is the author of the recently released and already best-selling leadership manual, Naked at Work: A Leader’s Guide to Fearless Authenticity. Find Danessa's book here. Check out another episode on psychological safety here. LEADERSHIP INSIGHTS - Authenticity is a paradox: It can work for or against you. - If you show up as authentic outside the bounds of your organization, or if you are authentic in service to yourself (i.e., “I am who I am… take it or leave it”), there’s no good there. - When considering how to be authentic, ask yourself if it will distract from or reinforce your message; if it is appropriate for your environment or not. - Think about your authenticity in the context of your effectiveness. - We are a million versions of ourselves—and all of them can be authentic. We just bring forward different things depending on who we are with (grandma, friend, co-worker, etc.). - Authenticity is bringing your full self forward in service to your organization. - According to research, teams led by authentic leaders are more effective across two dimensions: 1. Day-to-day managerial effectiveness (productivity, fewer mistakes, absenteeism, etc.) 2. Strategic areas (solving problems without the leader, bouncing back from unexpected news, operating in ambiguity). - The psychological safety that an authentic leader brings to a team empowers the members to try things they might not otherwise try and to find alignment with the team. - To be an authentic leader, focus on three things: Compassion, candor, and courage. - Bring this version of you to work: Someone who recognizes that who you are—as you are—is enough; someone who embraces where you are and reframes it so that it will serve you; someone who looks at failure differently—as a way to move you forward. - Remember: Authenticity is not about you. It is hard, and it is in service to your team and organization. QUESTIONS TO INSPIRE US TO ACTION - What is some lesson, saying, or experience that continues to influence your leadership to this day? Forgetting the lyrics to a song for a high school performance THREE nights in a row! This was a defining failure that made her fearless. - Use three descriptors to finish this sentence: “A leader is…” Compassionate, brave, and clear. - What is a question that leaders should be asking either themselves or others? What am I not seeing? - What book would you recommend to leaders? The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz - If you could get every listener to start doing something THIS week to help them be a better leader, what would it be? Start doing something you’re really bad at to remind yourself what it’s like to be a beginner and to re-learn the lesson of grace. - As a general life principle, is it better to ask “why?” or “why not?” “Why not?” because “Why?” keeps you where you are; “Why not?” pushes you into new territory. Website: https://www.danessaknaupp.com Contact: danessa@avenue8advisors.com Find Danessa on social media: Twitter: @danessa_knaupp LinkedIn: in/danessa-knaupp

About the Podcast

Show artwork for Life as Leadership: Where Leaders Gather to Grow Together
Life as Leadership: Where Leaders Gather to Grow Together
Where leaders gather to grow together

About your host

Profile picture for Josh Friedeman

Josh Friedeman

Josh wants to help you LIVE and LEAD well.

From interviewing leaders and other experts who help leaders, to coaching leaders and entrepreneurs, to staying on the front lines of leadership research through his PhD work in organizational leadership, Josh likes to live and breathe all things leadership.

Sure, there's more to life than leadership - until, that is, you start seeing life AS leadership (*Freeze frame, roll credits*).