This post on being an authentic leader was first written in 2013. Given today’s difficult climate, it seemed important to revisit the topic.
What is authentic leadership? Have you seen it in the workplace? With so many negative stories infiltrating the media, I thought it might be time to explore what I see many time over when working with clients: authentic dedicated leaders.
Authentic leaders are guided by their passions and convictions as well as by their minds. According to a recent article in The Leadership Quarterly, “Authentic leaders act in accordance with deep personal values and convictions, to build credibility and win the respect and trust of followers by encouraging diverse viewpoints and building networks of collaborative relationships with follows, and thereby lead in a manner that followers recognize as authentic.”
In other words, authentic leaders have:
- Self-awareness – they are aware of their strengths and limitations, their emotional needs, and the impact of self on others;
- Balanced processing – they are objective decision makers who can take multiple perspectives into account;
- Internalized moral perspective – they have high internal moral standards based on their values and beliefs. These standards and are not easily compromised or swayed by society of other outside pressures; and
- Relational transparency – they discuss their vulnerabilities and are open and forthcoming in their discussions and relationships with others.
Authentic leaders create positive emotions, trust, security, and a sense of self-determination, which enables them and their staff to be successful. Authentic leaders lead by example. They set high moral standards and are accountable for their actions. Authentic leaders aren’t just born that way. Coaching and dedicated work can take your leaders to the next level.
Do you have a story of an authentic leader you’ve worked with? You can learn about some of the great leaders we’ve worked with in our client spotlights.