Unmistakable… Authentic Leadership


I heard someone the other day say the word “unmistakable,” and thought to myself, “I had not heard that word in a while.”  Then I thought if “something” was unmistakable, then it is without denying its realness, in essence; authentic. Put the two words together with their meanings, and you have…

Unmistakable… Very distinctive
Authentic… Genuine

Now, let’s put leadership with them. You now have awakened something powerful; Unmistakable Authentic Leadership. It even sounds powerful. When you find that leader who has all three, you will not have to worry about their words. Thier actions will radiate the meaning of each.

So, who is a person with Unmistakable Authentic Leadership? I am glad you wanted to know.

I believe leaders who have unmistakable authentic leadership lead with values that are…

This attribute is not rooted in the fact that one is never unrealistic. It is not as if you are “putting on a grin and bear it” mentality. Sometimes, bad things happen. There is hurt, pain, loss, etc., but an optimistic person does not drown and wallow in the pleasure of self-pity.

As a leader, what and who do you effect? I would say most everything and everyone around you. Let’s vision your leadership barometer here. When people are around you, do they leave as a better person? Or better yet, do they want to be around you? Wow… What a question that we can see immediately. If you ever wonder why people avoid you, you do not have to ask; you already know the answer.

One of the best words of leadership. I have mentioned before in other blogs the best line I have ever heard about integrity is, “If I have to define integrity for you, then you do not have it.” Now, that does not mean that many leaders do not have a misconception about integrity, they do. Those who do are the leaders who usually tailor their needs and wants to and for themselves and not for the benefit of the grander scheme or others.

There is no phoniness or putting up a good front for realistic leaders. Most of all, they are not living a “fake it til you make it” mentality. Most people can be categorized as either positive or negative, but how many leaders do you know who are purely realistic? My grandfather once said, “Make the most of whatever comes, and the least of whatever goes.” In my mind, this sums up a realistic leader.

Collectively, these four components can leave a lasting effect on others. We need leaders who are unmistakable and authentic. The world creates a blinding facade that is masked over with gloss, counterfeiting true servant-based leadership. It is not being or called an unmistakable authentic leader that produces each of the above ideas, but living out the ideals of each.

Start today… Strive for Unmistakable Authentic Leadership. You and everyone around you will be better for it.


©2018 J Clay Norton

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Is Your Leadership Useful?

Walking through a store the other day, I saw something and thought, “I need that.” Then I thought, “Need that for what?, Would I use it?” And then, the inner struggle started and wore me out mentally. I was trying to justify something that I thought I needed, and it would be useful, but how often would I use it. It made me start thinking about “stuff” that I have, and the notion of its usefulness. Then I thought, “There has to be a hidden meaning behind this and probably a good leadership blog to go along.” And… Here we are…

If you are in a leadership role, you lead; sounds about right. But, do you lead in a useful manner? Are you making the most of every opportunity available to you and for others? The better question might be, “Do others see your leadership as being useful?”

The very first item we must talk about is “What does it mean for something to be useful?” A few thoughts come to mind; something with a purpose, something that can be used over and over for good. It should be something that you are not ashamed of using.

Now the opposite question is also true, “What does it mean for something to be useless?” Take the opposite of every statement above, and you have your answer.


Photo Credit: sportstvratings.com

What does it mean for your leadership to be useful?

  • It means that you set your leadership apart from the world’s definition of leadership.
  • It means that you are intentional about your leadership being for good purposes.
  • It means that your leadership is prepared to lead for the right reasons.

With leadership today, there are many “hypes” being promoted. What we must do is have a discerning mind to help us weed out the bad leadership that comes in many different forms and fashions; more exact, the useless leadership.

We must have a useful leadership mentality. The usefulness that goes against the norm and allows others to have a stake in the leadership game while finding usefulness in the leadership that we provide.

Be useful in your leadership.  Everyone around you will be better for it.


©2018 J Clay Norton

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The Heart Of The Matter… Your Words

“Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.” Dan Rockwell of Leadership Freak

This I believe… You can never separate who you are with what you say you believe in. This is a powerful statement of leadership. We are walking “billboards” of our belief system; not only in leadership but all areas of life. What are people “seeing” and “hearing” from us?

The central question today for this post is, “Do the words of your heart matter?” If you answer “no,” then please check your leadership at the door and quit “trying” to be a leader. If you answer “I’m not sure,” please keep reading. If you answer “yes,” then you are where you need to be and know your words do matter (but please do not be satisfied).


Photo Credit: dreamstime.com

There is no mistaking, what a person is inwardly, their mouth will sooner or later reveal outwardly. That is why our words matter and they are at the heart of our leadership.

Please understand, we are not speaking of areas where rightful anger exists. We are talking about areas where one’s speech is crude, rude, evil, hateful, manipulative, etc. You get the picture… When people speak like this, it reveals their heart. Our hearts carry so much. It is a large holding compartment of your character.

Our heart is the ultimate revealer of who we actually are. More often than not, it can also represent the people we surround ourselves with the most. If you can be “labeled” by who you “hang out” with, what would your label represent?

That is why one of my goals is to find and be with like-minded, kindred-spirited people. Our lives are too short, and our leadership is too important to be seen as uncharacteristic of quality.

Our mouths express our hearts. Like it or not, it is what it is. We will try to justify and explain our thoughts to the point of no end, only to make ourselves look good or feel superior. There are not any excuses that can undo this.

Do the words of our heart matter? You bet they do and everyone listening to you can tell. Be the leader others need. Be the leader others need to hear. Have good qualities in your heart. When you do, your mouth will reveal each one. You and everyone around you will be better for it.


©2018 J Clay Norton

Follow me on Twitter at TheBookChamber

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The CANNOTs of Leadership

“Leadership is an aspect of power, but it is also a separate and vital process in itself.” – James MacGregor Burns

Society has done a terrific job and an injustice of conditioning the minds of many leaders to be shallow and superficial. It distorts our thinking and our ability to make decisions. In some sense, it becomes a drug that is killing the future of what great, quality leadership should be.


Photo Credit: gettingsmart.com

Unless there is a radical change in our thought process of the way we view leadership, to be for others and not ourselves, leadership will simply fade away.

Here are a few thoughts that we CANNOT allow ourselves to do…

  • We cannot simply flow with the societal trends of leadership.
  • We cannot elevate our leadership and at the same time not hold to the foundational truths of leadership.
  • We cannot promote our leadership by not living out what we say our leadership is.
  • We cannot fall victim not acknowledging that leadership requires humility.
  • We cannot fail to realize that leadership requires enthusiasm.
  • We cannot abandon our desire to want right leadership.

Today’s leadership models promote so much focus on self that we lose sight of serving others. It is self-absorbing. To make matters worse, we buy into it. We accept it as the norm. We allow it to become part of our inner being… ME FIRST!

Our defense against leadership, that is worldly and weakens right influence, relies on distrusting our ego to the point that we must separate the error it causes in our thinking.


©2018 J Clay Norton

Follow me on Twitter at TheBookChamber

Subscribe via email to my blog at the top of the page