One of things I hate about the online world is how easy fakers can gain traction. They shout about how awesome they are at what they do, how fabulous their life is and then try and underpin their story with a false picture of success on social media to attract customers.

But who are you really serving with this approach?

This year was the worst year I’ve had in a long time, with a stream of problems constantly battering away at my health, happiness and success. Within my business community I’m a complete open book – I share the successes, but I also share the epic fails because I feel so strongly about this being a responsibility of leadership.

Fake leadership and false portrayal of perfection serves no one. Least of all you, as the story teller. 

It was easier in 2015 to share the fails. A success always quickly followed, but some of the challenges I faced this year had no “big win” to follow. It was hard to experience and even harder to share.

I’ll admit that many times this year I felt like retreating into myself and hiding away from the world as I began to listen to the story my exhausted brain wanted me to hear.

“You’re no use to anyone like this. You can’t inspire anyone when you’re message isn’t that of success. Just take care of yourself from now on.”

I didn’t want to let anyone down or for people who follow me to think that I was a loser for not bouncing back quicker than normal but it was just a ”story” my brain had made up because I didn’t have my usual energy to lead with positivity. In all honesty during the darkest days of my illness this year I didn’t really have much positivity at all – its very hard to bring yourself back to happiness when chronic illness steals your health again.

I decided to ignore what my brain was telling me, and go with my heart and continue to share everything. The good, the bad and the downright scary.

I admitted my struggles, shared my pain and what happened next was overwhelmingly beautiful.

1 – My tribe rallied around me.

When I asked for help I got it. I put out an SOS message, and the support came rolling in. It flooded my life with the realisation that I’m surrounded by wonderful people, and this helped me to feel better on my worse days.

There were things I couldn’t deliver as planned when I was unwell, but because I had built such an incredible bond with my audience I was overwhelmed with support, love, encouragement and patience.

I hate to use the word authentic, but that’s the word that kept coming up in recent conversations with my community. Because I led with authenticity, it made my community feel so connected to me that the moment I asked for support – it was there in abundance.

2 – My tribe opened up about their problems.

When I opened up about my struggles, it opened up channels for conversation that never existed before. 

I had members of my community open up about problems that had plagued them their whole lives and they began the process of healing. One particular person shared a story so painful it made me cry for them, and then happy tears that they had felt so safe and able to share their story. I personally know that healing can only happen when the pain has been acknowledged, and my own struggles was a catalyst for the start of this process for them.

3 – It smashed illusions of entrepreneurial perfection.

Whilst I live a wonderful life generally, and have seen a lot of success in business I don't wish to paint a false picture of perfection. It's not really how it is and I don't need to do that in order to persuade others that I'm successful enough to follow!

I have a lot of new people in business follow me, and they quickly realise how hard it is it be a business owner and the challenges can get bigger as time passes. This can quickly turn into disillusion and sadly too many people quit too early as a result, but connecting with my story helped them to see that anything can be overcome and that we're all doing our best to navigate the challenges.

Just knowing you're not alone can be enough to help you keep going through dark times.

4 – I have been able to take a break with no pressure to return

The best thing about having such an amazing tribe in your corner is knowing that no matter what happens, they are there for you – just like family and friends. It's been really important to me to take a break this year to get well, and this was made all the more easier knowing that my tribe won't forget me in the meantime!

So what makes a genuine leader? My view is that you lead through good times, bad times and with whatever energy you have and you do so with honesty. Not fake honesty, I’m talking about real gut-wrenching, tear-jerking RAW honesty. The kind of emotions you really feel during tough times – not the fake ones you wear to be a crowd pleaser. If someone only follows you because they your glittery life is what attracts them to you, then remove that glitter and what reason do your followers have to stay?!

I'd love to hear from you all – who do you follow that leads with authenticity & honesty? Drop a comment below and share the love for your favourite people!


As my friend Kirsten Roberts says, take off that mask – it takes far too much energy to wear it. Kirsten is someone who leads with honesty and I adore what she puts out into the world!

Tomorrow she is hosting an incredible 2 day event in NY tomorrow  (Radfest Live) and I just found out that she’s released live stream tickets!! I couldn’t get over there for the live event as I’m not well enough to travel, but I will be watching the live stream. She has some incredible speakers joining her there and I know for sure that its going to be amazing 🙂 P.S this is NOT an affiliate link, I just want to spread the word for Kirsten’s event.

radfest-live

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