What is authentic leadership? You know what it is because I am sure you are like me and have felt the influence of successful, authentic leaders as opposed to those that are, some how, playing the part. There is something missing from their leadership….what is it? It is that spark of a special….what?….that makes all the difference in the quality of the leadership and the joy spread, all over the place.
So, what goes into this illusive “authentic leadership”?
First, before we go any further, let’s define what this is? Well, according to Bill George, in Authentic Leadership it is a style of leadership where the character of the leader is the ingredient that matters most—more than characteristics or style.
What does this look like in the real world?
- an authentic leader is sensitive to the needs of the people they lead. They hone empathy on a daily basis and try to connect on a deeper level to understand motivations and create spaces for growth. They are not rigid in technique or tactic but is able to act based upon the needs of the situation or person.
- an authentic leader knows how to summon the “observer mentality”. They have wisdom and insight because they see the larger picture.
- an authentic leader really leads the way. That is, they take initiative so that they can be an example. Having this initiative makes them the first to move.
- an authentic leader is committed to constant learning and growth. They never have a “know it all” attitude because there is so much in the world to learn and know and be. This type of leader knows that their growth never ends and they transmit this to those they lead, inspiring things they never imagined.
- an authentic leader lives in integrity. They say what they mean and they mean what they say. Those they lead know for a fact they can depend upon an authentic leader’s word.
What is amazing is that when you live in this place of being….this space of an authentic leader, whether you are a leader as a parent, a coach, or as an employer, what you get is every bit as amazing as those who you lead. Because you are living in integrity, empathy, compassion, and movement, you are living in the present moment. Living in the present moment brings mindfulness and mindfulness brings the absolute best thing around….JOY!