Are you in a leadership position in your organization? Are they taking you to outbound adventure trips? Are the HR strategists in your company showing you movies every now & then and asking you to pick up the cues & learnings from them? So what signals are you getting? Take a deeper look, it may be that they want to check your authenticity. How trustworthy a leader are you? Do you mean what you say? All your employees seek to know every moment is that you are not only a man of words but also of deeds.

Indeed you have done, doing and intend to do a lot more for them. Because you wish to keep your talent pool engaged, and retain them since they add some value to your organization. They are part and parcel of your growth prospects and no one knows that more than you! So you have applied all the coaching models you learnt by now and tried every pane (or pain) of the leadership window. Still you sense an inquisitiveness in every employee of yours. Because they see you every day, in every mood under very different circumstances. At one moment you give a thrashing to your sales person and praise the finance guy, on the very next moment under a different context you behave reversely.

The fact underneath is that you appear disengaged to them. Which in turn plant the seeds of disengagement in their minds. Perhaps your reliability is getting questioned somewhere inside them. Inspite of the fact that your trying your level best to Act As An Ideal Leader!

By now I guess you have figured out you are in some way or the other put under surveillance. Even worse this event has gradually moved along with you to your home from your office. And some of your own people might be considering that you are being manipulative. Since they see you in a repeated set of responses changing with context (e.g., shouting when angry, smiling when pleased) to the same set of people. While all you are seeking is a balance. To keep everyone happy and get things done. Still this act of balancing is seen as fake by many.

Now here lies the catch – You are ACTING Out or In? 

A very close connection was drawn between human behavior of leadership emotions from theater & Method Acting during 1930’s. Stella Adler and Sanford Meisner two best ever acting teachers questioned Konstantin Stanislaviski’s acting belief that, rather than delving exclusively into one’s past memories as a source of emotion, one could just as effectively summon up the character’s thoughts and feelings through the concentrated use of the imagination and the belief in the given circumstances of the text. Stella believed "The word theatre comes from the Greeks. It means the seeing place. It is the place people come to see the truth about life and the social situation." Based on this Meisner began focusing on a new approach to the art of acting and came up with his unusual techniques which were considered both unorthodox and effective. Actor Dennis Longwell wrote of sitting in on one of Meisner’s classes one day, when Meisner brought two students forward for an acting exercise. They were given a single line of dialogue, told to turn away, and instructed not to do or say anything until something happened to make them say the words; one of the fundamental principles of the Meisner Technique. The first student’s line came when Meisner approached him from behind and gave him a strong pinch on the back, inspiring him to jump away and yelp his line in pain. The other student’s line came when Meisner reached around and slipped his hand into her blouse. Her line came out as a giggle as she moved away from his touch. The technique emphasized that to carry out an action truthfully, it is necessary to let emotion and subtext build based on the truth of the action and on the other characters around them, rather than simply playing the action or playing the emotion. One of the best known exercises of the Meisner Technique is called Repetition, where one person spontaneously makes a comment based on his or her partner, and the comment would be repeated back and forth between the two actors in the same manner, until it changed on its own. The object was always to react truthfully, allowing the repetition to change naturally rather than by manipulation. This lead to Meisner’s conclusion about acting as follows – 

"Acting is behaving truthfully under imaginary circumstances."

This sums up to the reason why your employees don’t look up to you Acting as an authentic, reliable, trustworthy leader. Probably you are seen as acting it out. Your repetition of external manifestation has become monotonous. When you are annoyed you always tell yourself to shout and do so. When you are pleased you tell yourself to always give a smile and you do it. Because this is the way you have always responded to these same set of emotions. But these are not true colours. Just think for a moment the instances when you were happy but did not feel like laughing, still you did because that’s usually what you do. Their is a voice inside your mind that keeps telling you, " You only appear true when you keep doing what you always do". Reality might be entirely different! That was a manipulation of your emotional expression. You resisted your true colours to come out. Eventually you came out with the same colour that comes out in similar instances. And BANG!.. You appeared fake in front of the world, since you do the same thing every time, when the same experience happens.

All you do is that you "Act Out" first, as always. All you need to do in Acting is, first "Act In". It is not so hard.

As Craig MacDonald rightly pointed out once, "The best acting is instinctive. It’s not intellectual, it’s not mechanical, it’s instinctive."