The authenticity and ‘realness’ of a leader influences whether people trust them and believe what they say. Being authentic is a very powerful way of leading – principally, because as the name suggests, it cannot be faked. An authentic leader is just that – someone who knows their limits, their strengths and their values.
They are not perfect individuals and this fallibility is used as a tool to show their people that mistakes can be made and it is how you manage them that makes the difference between success and failure.
Because of the willingness of authentic leaders to be open about their hopes, achievements, fears and vulnerabilities, their people aspire to be as open and honest about themselves.
For someone to lead authentically, they need to be able to demonstrate that they are practicing the values that they promote.
Honesty, clarity, fairness and integrity are some of the traits that an authentic leader must be prepared to live by as well as encourage in others. The only way that you can expect others to change their behaviour is if you yourself are prepared to foster the qualities in yourself that you expect them to develop in themselves.
While the authentic leader is on a journey of evolution and growth, their message is clear. They have a set of values and beliefs that they intend to live by and demonstrate to others. It is in this way that their people learn what inspired the leader in the first place and what continues to inspire them.
Authentic leaders value their reputation and know that part of their job is to ensure it is maintained. This requires commitment to what they believe in and whole heartedly expressing it through everything they do. Because they represent their beliefs so successfully people recognise them as a force for the greater good and willingly follow them.
How important is authentic leadership in an organisation?
If you want to generate long-lasting and powerful bonds throughout an organisation, authentic leadership is very important. These bonds result in open, meaningful and trustworthy relationships – which in turn enable people to work effectively and to enjoy both what they do and working with each other.
When authentic leadership achieves this, differences are valued, expressions of opinion are welcomed and honest communication is possible. Respect and acceptance are encouraged in order to create the space for shared solutions to emerge which bring greater momentum and opportunities.
Authentic leadership creates hugely positive outcomes. Those who practice this type of leadership feel fulfilment through witnessing the difference they are making. Their people feel satisfied that their day-to-day actions are worthwhile and the organisation as a whole is one that is happy, motivated and engaged.
Monday morning and I am pleased to say I am featured in the telegraph under the lifestyle and wellbeing section, if you have the actual paper then you will probably not miss it with the size dedicated to the picture of myself, you can read it online at the telegraph
It’s the end of the week. Taking a look at her action list, Operations Director Frazzled Freda notices it’s not got any shorter. In fact, it’s got longer – even though she’s finally managed to complete a number of priority tasks. What’s been happening? First, there was the conversation with her second in command, Ian.…
In the second of my blogs about finding your identity as a leader, I want to talk about confidence. Something recently-promoted Operations Director Frazzled Freda had in abundance in her former lead scientist role, but which seems to be eluding her in her new position. What’s gone wrong? Let’s take a look back at Freda’s…