The Importance of Authentic Leadership
What is authentic leadership? Well, the answer to that question is a millionfold, as we learned last night on the latest #TChat. Everyone seemed to have a definition to go into the bucket when it came to leadership that was…real. In order to be authentic, some surmised you have to be true to your style of leadership and perfect THAT, not necessarily try to fit into someone else’s definition of what leadership could, should and would look like to them.
We’ve heard that leaders should be everything under the sun; from assertive to humble, servant to conqueror, honest to canny, tyrant to buddy. Where does the aspiring leader look to find their answers? One answer may come from inside the team:
@lori~translation lady said:
A1: Authentic leadership means collaborating and empowering because you can accomplish so much more with teamwork and community. #TChat
That was echoed in many sentiments. Your team often informs just what kind of leader you need to be. In fact, the authentic leader would do well to study the “following” styles of his or her team before settling on a “my-way-or-the-highway” leadership style.
A1. Authentic leadership means being able to share all sides of us. Being truthful of who we are. #tchat
What Bubbled Up:
Regardless of varying ideas of what defined authentic leadership, there were qualities that no one could argue with (or at least no one did!). They were:
- Empathy or Heart
- Team-oriented or holistic
What’s not in there? Careful attention to share prices and nary a mention of productivity. Efficiency is a KPI to which many leaders are held. How do we emulate the above characteristics (or allow our leaders to emulate them) while still ensuring we get our gosh-darn jobs done? That too, nearly always falls to the leader:
- The leader is usually the most selfless person in the room.
- A leader ensures that her team is reprimanded in private.
- A leader keeps the workload manageable for his team.
- True leaders use honesty to motivate the team, rather than hiding crucial information from them.
Stuff You Can Do
Didn’t have time to attend? Try these five-minute new tricks to make baby steps toward authentic leadership:
- Try to figure out what your team needs by watching them take criticism and/or praise. Take notes.
- Write down your strengths (honesty, empathy etc.) and try to trace a path to how you can use those to reach specific KPIs in your organization.
- Check the recommended reading and add Cy Wakeman’s books and blogs to your reading list.
- Make a list of leaders who have inspired you personally (3) and mentors in the public eye you admire (10).
- Invite someone from the first list to coffee or dinner. Pay.
- Watch a speech or video of a person on the second list and write down what it is that makes you admire their leadership qualities.
Did you miss all the #TChatty goodness?
Well you can catch up by listening to this week’s #TChat Radio Show or taking a look at our Storify of the #TChat conversation.
Closing Notes & What’s Ahead
GRATITUDE: Thanks again to Todd DeWett for giving us an inspiring look into authentic leadership! Check out his site at drdewett.com!
NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about trends on the workplace talent frontier? We welcome your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we may feature it!! If you recap #TChat make sure to use this link so we can find you!
WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week at #TChat Events, we’ll be talking about wholehearted leadership and employee engagement. Kevin Kruse is going to be our radio guest and Nancy Rubin will be our moderator. See more information in the #TChat Preview this weekend, and save the date: Wednesday, April 2!
Meanwhile, the TalentCulture conversation continues daily on #TChat Twitter, in our LinkedIn group, and on our NEW Google+ community. So join us anytime on your favorite social channels.
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photo credit: Steven | Alan via photopin cc