What Is Authentic Leadership?
For years there has been discussion of what an “Authentic Leader” means.
Authenticity is NOT being true to yourself.
In being “true to who you are” you can easily excuse behaviors and injurious thinking that adversely impacts others in the organization. For example, if you are a self-centered individual, you can justify your adverse actions and their consequences.
The world is filled with leaders who demean others, yell and and other poor behaviors. Yet when these leaders are called out, they simply sit back and reply, “Well, that’s just who I am.”
More common are leaders who claim they are all in with the company culture, but behind closed doors undermine it with bullying, unethical behaviors or an attitude of not having the rules which they say they uphold apply to themselves.
Leaders who aren’t authentic are easily found out. In most organizations, people know who those inauthentic leaders are.
A true and authentic leader is one who is who they say they are.
They are transparent in their weaknesses, their challenges, and their agendas. They hide nothing of themselves, and lay it all on the table for people to see. These leaders know that if there is anything foreign in their persona in how they portray themselves, their credibility and influence to lead will evaporate.
Authentic leaders are pure and complete people. Not perfect, but people whom you can tell what they’re made of.
Leaders who lead authentically allow themselves to be held accountable. They consider themselves to be part of a team, not the pinnacle of the team. They desire to make the team, the culture and the organization better, not just themselves.
Authentic leaders don’t show who they are to a few.
They are not the type of people who will show their true self to their favorites or to people they can bully to keep silent. They are consistent in their dealings everywhere, not being one thing to one group of people and something different to another group.
Authentic leaders aren’t willing to be double-minded, either wishy-washy or purposely two-faced. They are through and through genuine in their agendas, desires and alignment with the culture and the people within the culture.
In other words, if you want authentic Italian cuisine, you won’t get it by passing it off using Greek ingredients.
You can’t be an authentic leader by not being transparent in who you are.
Put yourself out there. Align your philosophies, goals, and agendas. Be authentic through and through.
Your people already know.