Speak with your own authentic voice

Queen Elizabeth I

In this time of churning and change, your ability to inspire yourself and others becomes essential.

There is no one ‘right’ way of doing this but there are seven key building blocks you can use.

The first of these blocks is to speak with your own authentic voice.

Queen Elizabeth I of England provides a good example. Four hundred years ago she was a woman in jeopardy. Many people thought she could not rule, simply because she was a woman. Some of her own countrymen had even tried to kill her. And, seeing her weakness, a foreign power decided to invade.

Faced with these perils, from home and abroad, Elizabeth could simply have run away. Or she might have tried to bluff it out: “Everything is fine. I am the best ruler ever! A very stable genius!! We’re going to make a titanic success of this!!!”

Instead, she chose to speak her authentic truth.

Wearing armour (unheard of for a woman) she rode “like some Amazonian empress” into the middle of her assembled army. There, at the mercy of several thousand heavily armed troops, and with an escort of only six men and two page boys, she spoke clearly and authentically what became her most famous words:

“I know I have the body of a weak, feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too!”

Her authenticity won her audience over.

And once they had decided to listen to her then they listened to what she had to say. And once they had heard what she had to say they then did what needed to be done.

The invader was repulsed and Elizabeth’s reign became one of the most celebrated in her country’s history.

When we speak authentically, people hear that and know who we are.

Our words will resonate most strongly with the people who are most inspired to work with us, the ones who will join us for the long haul, our ‘tribe’. And when we have an inspired team, working together and pulling in the same direction, we can achieve anything.

In your work, do you speak authentically what is true for you or do you say what you think you should? What outcomes does that create? What would happen if you spoke more of your authentic truth — first to yourself and then to others?


Adapted from Inner Leadership: a framework and tools for building inspiration in times of change.

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Photo By mware2012 via StockPholio.net

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