Authentic Leadership, Are We Fooling Ourselves?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last five or so years, you know that being an authentic leader is no longer a preference, it’s a requirement!
However, if you and I were to do a walk around survey and ask people, (Leaders) if they are authentic, what do you think they would say?
You guessed it; they would likely say “of course!” (and probably look at us like we were idiots for even asking)
So, just stop for a minute and ask yourself, what you think/believe being authentic means.
Asked that same question, it seems most people would come up with a fairly similar answer. However, if we slightly change the question to the active by asking:
“Do you feel that you are behaving authentically in all the different aspect of your life, including how you lead?” We may find that we get a less certain response.
The truth is most folks don’t really understand what authenticity is and that it is in fact both very simple and quite complex.
When we think of authentic leaders we may think of individuals like Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King Jr or any number of other outstanding human beings.
However, when we read the literature it would appear that Ghengis Khan, Adolf Hitler and many other tyrants appear to have been quite authentic.
Webster’s Definition of Authentic: Not false or copied; Genuine; Real. That would pretty much cover Ghengis, Adolf and whole bunch of other folks you might NOT want to work for.
Here’s my Full Monty Leadership Tip for you: Authenticity and integrity go hand in hand. However, they don’t necessarily meet up with or marry; compassion, empathy, caring or even the high-quality communication skills required for great leadership.
Having compassion, empathy, caring or high-quality communication without authenticity and integrity guarantees leadership impotence.
So, next time you claim authenticity, you may want to check the list above because true Authentic Leadership is a rare gem.
Most leaders wear the title of leader as a mask to hide behind.
Should you be courageous enough to actually be a fully authentic leader, those who follow your guidance will do so with Fierce Loyalty.
Having revealed yourself from behind the mask, your Top Talent, particularly Millennial talent will know that they can trust you. This trust is the foundation upon which all lasting relationships are built.
Finally, in so doing you will have laid down a model that by virtue of your authenticity will shift your follower onto the path of becoming authentic leaders themselves.
I trust that you found this valuable if so feel free to send this to your friends. I eagerly anticipate your feedback and comments. Please “like,” “share”, and comment below!
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