Being an Authentic Leader – What It Takes

Being an Authentic Leader – What It Takes
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Are You an Authentic Leader?
We know from leadership simulation assessment data that authentic leadership is about credibility in terms of both character and competence.  An authentic leader has high levels of alignment between their internal values, the decisions they make, and how they collaborate with others.  An authentic leader’s internal motivations are aligned with their external behaviors.

Does Being an Authentic Leader Matter?
According to a recent study in the Leadership and Organization Development Journal, employees’ perception of authentic leadership is the strongest predictor of employee engagement.  This makes sense to us.  The ability to effectively lead others toward a shared vision and a meaningful mission starts with authenticity.

We know form new manager training data that it is hard to trust and follow leaders who compromise their values or who do not consistently “walk the talk.”

How To Become a More Authentic Leader
Authentic leaders forge deep connections of mutual respect with their teams and inspire others to learn more and to do more.   Authentic leadership is not merely a set of behaviors or techniques to be mastered, but a way of being — a state of consciousness that permeates every leadership decision, communication, and interaction.   Becoming a more authentic leader is a journey of self-discovery and self-mastery, rooted in the principle of personal integrity.

  1. Begin from Within
    Authentic leadership begins from within. Leaders must be able to effectively lead themselves before they can effectively lead others.  Authentic leaders operate from a place of deep introspection, continuously striving to align their actions with their core beliefs and principles.

    Are your leaders able to draw strength from their inner convictions and remain steadfast in the face of adversity?

  2. Be Self-Aware
    Authentic leaders see themselves clearly. It is hard to be an effective leader unless you understand yourself and how you come across to those around you.  Leadership self-awareness is what helps you understand others and how they see you.

    Are your leaders able to take advantage of 360 degree feedback to understand how key stakeholders perceive them?

  3. Be Open
    Effective leaders create enough psychological team safety for others to thrive. They cultivate healthy organizational cultures where every voice is heard, and every contribution is valued. They recognize that true innovation and progress emerge from diverse perspectives and experiences.

    Are your leaders fostering a culture of inclusivity and empowerment to unleash the full potential of their teams?

  4. Be Intentional
    Authentic leaders are intentional about what they stand for and how they show. This personal leadership brand differentiates one leader from another.  It signals what you want others to expect from you. It is your reputation, and it reflects your priorities, your values, and how you show up as a leader.

    Are your leaders being intentional about creating and living their true image as a leader?

The Bottom Line
As Stephen Covey once remarked, “Leadership is a choice, not a position.” Effective leaders choose authenticity — for themselves and for their teams.  Where do your leaders stand?

To learn more about leadership effectiveness, download 29 Ways to Build and Maintain Trust as a Leader

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