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spacer " Ole delivers the goods. He is engaging, refreshingly irreverent and tuned into the challenges of small business. You can appreciate why he was named the 2006 Impact Speaker of the Year by the world's largest CEO membership organization – Vistage."

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spacer Kurt Chilcott,
CEO/President
CDC Small Business Finance


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Be Authentic and Effective
By Ole Carlson
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To be the best business leader possible, be authentic and effective. All too often we see a successful person, and rather than doing what we know how to do, and do best, we try to do what they do. This almost always ends in failure. You can't be something you are not, so rather than fake it, and try to be someone else, be yourself, and let that authenticity lead you to become the most effective leader possible.

There is a traditional Zen story about a sculptor that took an ancient ugly granite rock, and chiseled an incredible, and anatomically correct, elephant out of it. The elephant was truly beautiful and many admired it. One day an admirer asked the sculptor, "How did you create such a beautiful animal out of that old misshapen rock?" The humble sculptor replied, "I simply chipped away all of the stone that was not the elephant."

It is your turn. Make yourself authentic by taking off anything that is not who you really are. Become the elephant by shedding the ugly granite that makes you a misshaped rock rather than a work of art. The potential to be a successful business leader is inside of you, you just need to take off the layers that hide that, and let it shine.

Those who can shed their outer granite and be authentic to themselves rather than a persona they created become great leaders. They are more effective in their methods because those methods are true and feel natural and right. You can't make something that is untruth feel like truth no matter how hard you try. So, quit being ineffective. Become effective by shedding what you aren't and becoming what you are.

Often times fear and insecurity trigger negative and ineffective behaviors. For some it is too easy to ignore their authenticity and choose a conditioned and learned response that separates you from your true self. By being authentic your behavior will reflect your true intentions and noblest self, rather than your lowest and most unproductive self.

Not imitating others will prove to be your path to success. How? Well what you have inside of you is not only more accessible, but it is also real. Thus, to be authentic and effective you need to be less of what you think you should be, and more of what you are.


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