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  • Writer's pictureStephen


Last week I gave a presentation on Authentic Leadership to a group of individuals from our community. Since it was a very brief presentation, I only had time to go through a couple of the most critical elements I believe are absolutely necessary for being an effective, authentic leader.  One of those elements is something I call WITHness, and since that flows well with my post last week about Connection, I thought I'd share some thoughts about that with you this week.


The basic idea of WITHness is when an individual or leader helps those who are around them feel like "we are all in this together." It's about being willing to jump in and do what's necessary to accomplish our mission.  It's marked by an attitude that no task is "beneath" me, so what can I do to help?

Now, before you stop reading because you don't think you are a leader, let me also say I believe leadership has way more to do with how we use our influence than it does where we may be on an organizational chart! And if that's true, then everyone has the capacity to help cultivate a sense of WITHness in lots of different areas of our lives, not just work.

Here are some examples of what WITHness can look like in action. As you read these statements and questions, think about the various areas of your life and how you might use some of them to foster a greater sense of WITHness with the people around you.

WITHness says:

Let's make sure we are clear about expectations and roles - who's doing what, when.

WITHness asks:

Just checking in.  How are things going and is there anything I can do to help?

WITHness says:

I know this is hard and a challenge right now, but I believe we can do this as we all pitch in together.

WITHness asks:

Where are the frustration points and what can we do to alleviate those as much as possible?

WITHness says:

Please speak up and let me know what I can do to help and support, because without your input, I may not be able to figure out what we need to do on my own.

WITHness asks:

What can we celebrate together, and who can we thank for their efforts?

I hope these spark some ideas and places where you could be intentional about creating WITHness in your life.  What areas came to your mind? How could you implement some of them this week? Where might you have influence that you didn't really think was a place of "leadership" but is a space you could work to cultivate WITHness?

I've said this before and I'm sure I will say it again, but we are all contributing to the culture of the spaces around us, so we might as well be intentional about the kind of culture we want to create with our influence and leadership!

Here's to being a Creator of WITHness this week!

Be well,


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