"Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing." - Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States (1809 - 1865)
Expressions like "Fake it 'til you make it", and "Never let them see you sweat" have become not only acceptable for many for being less than sincere with others...they have even allowed some, sadly, to be shallow with themselves.
Instead of being concerned with what others think, or don't think, of us, how nice would it be to be REAL with ourselves...and others as well? What I mean by REAL is:
R - Relevant. The opposite of relevance is vanity. Remember to be aware, stay abreast of what is happening, know you are not the only person who may be experiencing what is great, or challenging, and keep that perspective while being sad, glad, or anything in between.
E - Enthusiasm. The opposite of enthusiasm is apathy. Your attitude is your enthusiasm...it need not be loud or vocal, just yours. Having a belief in yourself and others while knowing whatever attitude you have is your choice, and your enthusiasm can be contagious...and worth catching!
A - Action. The opposite of action is worry. Worry yields nothing positive. Inaction is action,remember to choose wisely, as actions have rewards & consequences. Own your actions!
L - Leadership. The opposite of leadership is pessimism. The followers are not the opposite of the leader, as the followers are part of what make the leaders' leadership grow. Following is a way of leading self. Lead and guide yourself first, and others later. By leading yourself and setting an example is the way to what I call "Micro-leadership". Lead by example, and learn from experience.
As you maintain being relevant, embrace and share your enthusiasm, take action (and ownership of it), your leadership will continue to develop. These things will get and keep things REAL for you...no faking it, just making it...no sweat required!!!