Authentic Leadership Style

Authentic Leadership Style

Authentic leadership is an approach to leadership that emphasizes building the leader's legitimacy through honest relationships with followers which value their input and are built on an ethical foundation. The authentic leader acts upon his or her values and beliefs, and inspires others to do the same, is committed to know and develop oneself. Are you committed to developing yourself; know your motivations and the purpose of your leadership? Read this article to know more about authentic leadership style and discovering your authentic self. 

What is Authentic Leadership?

A person cannot make hard decisions, hold unpopular positions, or stand tall for what he believes unless he knows who he is and feels comfortable in his own skin. I am talking about self-confidence and conviction. These traits make a leader bold and decisive, which is absolutely critical in times where you must act quickly, often without complete information. Just as important, authenticity makes a leader likable, for lack of a better word. Their realness comes across in the way they communicate and reach people on an emotional level. Their words move them; their message touches something inside. When I was at GE, we would occasionally encounter a very successful executive who just could not be promoted to the next level. In the early days, we would struggle with our reasoning. The person demonstrated the right values and made the numbers, but usually, his people did not connect with him. What was wrong? Finally, we figured out that these people always had certain phoniness about them. They pretended to be something they were not - more in control, more upbeat, more savvy than they really were. They didn’t sweat. They didn’t cry. They squirmed in their own skin, playing the role of their own inventing. A leader in times of crisis can’t have an iota of fakeness in him. He has to know himself - and like himself - so that he can be straight with the world, energize followers, and lead with the authority born of authenticity”. – Jack Welch in Winning

What is clear from the comment of Jack Welch produced above is that no one can be authentic by trying to imitate to be someone else. One can learn from others’ experiences, but can you be successful by just trying to be like them? Your followers will trust you only when you are genuine and authentic, not when they see you as an imitation, replica of someone else. Leadership has many voices and has many styles. Authentic leadership is all about being what you really are and not trying to emulate somebody else.

The authentic leader acts upon his or her values and beliefs and inspires others to do the same. He can stand tall for what he believes, he knows who he is and feels comfortable in his own skin. He can be straight with the world, energize followers, and lead with the authority born of authenticity. Authentic leaders avoid self-deception by fiercely examining their behaviors and decisions, genuinely asking for feedback on how to improve performance. They are committed to know and develop themselves.

Characteristics of Authentic Leaders:

1. Authentic leaders genuinely desire to serve others through their leadership

2. Authentic leaders are interested in empowering their followers

3. Authentic leaders are more interested in developing people and leading to make a difference

4. Authentic leaders lead with purpose, meaning, and values

5. Authentic leaders build strong relationships and networks of collaborative relationships

6. Authentic leaders are consistent, reliable, and strong

7. Authentic leaders are dedicated to personal growth and learning

8. Authentic leaders are aware of their strengths, limitations, the perceptions of others toward their leadership, and how they impact others

9. Authentic leaders are transparent, perceived as genuine and sincere

10. Authentic leaders set consistent and high standards for moral and ethical conduct

11. Authentic leaders ask for help, solicit opinions and viewpoints before making an important decision

12. Authentic leaders build credibility and win the respect and trust of followers

13. Authentic leaders act in accordance with deep personal values and convictions

Book to Read/References:

True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership by Bill George and Peter Sims (2007)

Authentic Leadership: Rediscovering the Secrets to Creating Lasting Value by Bill George

Related Links

You may also like Adaptive Leadership Style | Agile Leadership Style | Appreciative Leadership | Authentic Leadership Style | Authoritarian Leadership Style | Bad Leadership Style | Bureaucratic Leadership Style | Crisis Leadership Style | Collaborative Leadership | Charismatic Leadership | Democratic Leadership | Directive Leadership Style | Emergent Leadership | Laissez-Faire Leadership | Leadership Styles | Cross-Cultural Leadership | Lean Leadership Approach | Level Five Leadership | Narcissistic Leadership | Narrative Leadership Style | Scientific Management Style

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