Updated: Dec 22, 2021
What is Authentic Leadership?
Authentic leadership is a management style in which leaders are genuine, self-aware, and transparent. An authentic leader is able to inspire loyalty and trust in his/her employees by consistently displaying who he/she really is as a person, and how he/she feels about employees' performance.
Authentic leaders are self-aware so they know their strengths, limitations and are able to manage their emotions. Leaders using this style are mission driven and focused on results, they put the organizations mission and goals ahead of their own self-interest.
Leaders who are authentic lead with their heart, they are not afraid to show their emotions, they are vulnerable and they connect with their team. They focus on long-term value and so they believe in hard work and patience.
They are very transparent, believe in balanced processing when making decisions and do the right things.
“Authentic Leaders are not afraid to show emotion and vulnerability as they share the challenges with their team. Developing a solid foundation of trust with open and honest communication is critical to authentic leadership.” – Farshad Asl
Why is Authentic Leadership important?
Leadership and teamwork is all about working with people. Leaders who can relate to their teams are able to inspire effective actions which are critically important to any business.
Organizations that are led by authentic leaders have higher levels of trust, therefore great relationships with colleagues. This in turn promotes a more positive working environment that creates greater productivity.
Leaders who can help their teams make a leap of faith, work on a purpose and enhance capabilities of self and others will create better results.
This type of leadership promotes open communication which increases employee morale. Authentic leadership can create a healthy company culture and in effect positive brand voice in the marketplace.
No matter where you are professionally, taking the time to commit in improving yourself, heightening your emotional intelligence, practicing and honing your leadership skills can lead to substantial returns.
How can you Practice Authentic Leadership?
Identify your values as Christine Amour-Levar mentioned in a talk I attended in INSEAD, it will be our guiding compass. Combining this with company values and committing to an ethical way of leading others.
Lead by example is one of the top definitions of leadership in our live interviews. Doing what you say you will do, when you say you will do it is powerful.
Have a trustworthy coach and/or mentor who will offer you advice, feedback and support on your journey to leadership.
With that, we would like to leave you with this video by Irving Washington III on TEDx sharing his journey on finding out about Authentic Leadership and this quote from Nelson Mandela:
“One of the things I learned when I was negotiating was that until I changed myself, I could not change others.” — Nelson Mandela
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