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4 Ideas for Authentic Leadership Intelligence

by  Jon Mertz  |  Leadership Development

There is a smartness to authentic leaders. Smartness does not mean all-knowing; it does mean approaching your leadership craft with an authentic intelligence, knowing the impact of how you lead. To develop this intelligence, below are four ideas to consider in building your authentic leadership capabilities.

Embedded empathy. Authenticity needs to be other-centered. If leading is all about an individual, then the self-centeredness will eventually harm many more than any potential good done. In other words, authenticity needs to connect to others, understand one another, and raise each other up to do more in better ways.

Enabled community. Empathy leads to a leader’s embrace of community. How a leader enables a greater community raises their authenticity because it moves from a one-dimensional view to a multi-dimensional one. More than this, whatever action we take as a leader has a multiplier effect. The multiplier effect needs to be an enabled community working toward a higher-purposed mission or goal.

Empowering beliefs. Every leader has a certain set of beliefs, whether defined or not. To be an authentically intelligent leader, the beliefs should be empowering, not limiting. Beliefs pursued by a leader need to pass a test of:

  • Do they make others better?
  • Do they call on others to raise their game in how they work, live, and lead?

Preventing harm. Another key authentic leader idea is to always say and do things to prevent harm. The old principle of “do no harm” is as valid as ever. Authentic leaders do not incite others to act in harmful ways. Authentic leaders keep environments safe for honest, meaningful interactions and build cultures to encourage problem-solving, innovation, and productive working relationships.

Read more about what makes an authentic leader, including some checkpoints. Join the leadership conversation.

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About The Author

Articles By jon-mertz
Jon Mertz is one of the Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business and author of Activate Leadership: Aspen Truths to Empower Millennial Leaders. At Thin Difference, Jon writes and facilitates a conversation on how to empower, challenge, and guide the next generation of leaders.  »  View Profile

What People Are Saying

Bert Breland  |  01 Feb 2014  |  Reply

Jon,
I like what you say about empathy and preventing harm. On beliefs I believe that it is critical for a leader to self-define continually: This is who I am. This is what I believe or what I’m about. This is where I’m going. Then your presence and ability to lead grow stronger every day.
Bert

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