“We all have the capacity to inspire and empower others. But we must first be willing to devote ourselves to our personal growth and development as leaders.” Bill George
Over the past several years, people have developed a deep distrust of leaders. From politicians to business executives to community leaders, people are finding it difficult to be inspired and follow someone they believe in. Many people are yearning for more transparency and authenticity.
- Authentic leadership begins with the knowledge of oneself and being true to oneself.
- It requires authentic valuation of your strengths and areas of growth.
- Authentic leadership requires personal integrity and elevated self-awareness.
- Authentic leadership development involves ongoing processes whereby leaders and followers gain self-awareness and establish open, transparent, trusting and genuine relationships.
- Authentic leaders do not phony their leadership. They do not pretend to be leaders just because they are in a leadership position.
Knowing our true selves requires the audacity and honesty to open up and examine our experiences. Leaders who become authentic are more humane and willing to be vulnerable.
Authentic leaders value and strive for openness and honesty in all relationships. They bring candor to every conversation. They develop relational authenticity that involves an active process of openness and mutual trust. In authentic relationships, one must be genuine and truthful with other people. Relational authenticity also leads to positive and meaningful relationships with others.
Authentic leaders are more likely to experience unconditional trust as they interact with followers with openness and truthfulness while earning their confidence by shared values and consistent engagement. It requires the leader to be willing to hold oneself open to inspection in order to achieve accurate feedback required to learning.
Authentic leaders are more likely to have positive relationships with their followers. They understand it’s critical to build authentic relationship with people that will lead to greater value congruence and follower exchange that is consistent with authentic leadership values.
Authentic leaders develop better self-awareness which will reflect a mindfulness of trust in our own personal characteristics, value, motives, feelings and thoughts.
Authentic leaders have a strong internal compass that reflects on who they are, what do they believe, and what is the right thing to do. They believe they can restore and build optimism by the guidance of their moral convictions. They develop themselves and others by restoring confidence and hope for the future. They encourage transparent relationships and decision making that builds trust and commitment among followers.
They share life stories
Life stories provide authentic leaders with a perspective that can be expressed through their leadership influence. Authentic leaders can relate their life stories as valuable life experiences to share and relate as “lessons learned.” A leader life story conveys the leader qualities. The journey to authentic leadership begins with how you understand your leadership life story. What values did you learn and want to share from your leadership experiences? What stories can you tell others about your strengths and weaknesses?
“To become authentic, each one of us has to develop our own leadership style, consistent with our personality and character.” Bill George