Defining The Authentic Leader
For years there has been discussion of what an “Authentic Leader” looks like.
While some of the posts give a good outline of what authenticity is, there are many that stray form the mark. But there is one line of thought out there that needs a counter, an antidote if you will.
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.
In addition, if someone claims to be a great listener, but always come away with a different viewpoint or opinion of the other parties’ input, then that person will not be noted for their authenticity. Their behavior has belied their claims of who they say they 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.
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 transparently holistic in who you are.
Put yourself out there. Align your philosophies, goals, and agendas. Be authentic through and through.