“Authenticity has become the gold standard for leadership”
- Harvard Business Review, January 2015
This week I read an update on a topic that was first introduced in 2003 as a clarion call to those in corporate leadership roles. The concept then – and now – is that Character matters. As Warren Bennis is quoted in Working Knowledge, “Leadership is character. It is not just a superficial question of style. It has to do with who we are as human beings and the forces that shaped us.”
Authentic Leadership author Bill George says it this way:
“Authentic leaders are real and genuine. You cannot “fake it till you make it” by putting on a show as a leader or being a chameleon in your style. People sense very quickly who is authentic and who is not. Some leaders may pull it off for a while, but ultimately they will not gain the trust of their teammates, especially when dealing with difficult situations.”
He enumerates 5 specific qualities of authentic leaders as those who: understand their purpose, practice solid values, lead with heart, establish connected relationships, and demonstrate self-discipline.
This is good stuff. And I highly recommend we each take a few minutes to read and reflect on the content of what Bill George articulates in, “Authentic Leadership Rediscovered.” You can access this insightful article directly by clicking here.
To the degree that we understand and embrace these insights, I believe we will each become better leaders.