Authenticity is one of the most compelling new directions in leadership, allowing leaders – particularly female leaders – to redefine what their approach to leadership looks like on terms that actually resonate with their values. Crucially, authentic leadership involves encouraging direct reports and subordinate staff, by encouraging input and by nurturing genuine relationships with teams.
But are you actually an authentic leader, or are you currently going through the motions, copying other more accepted styles and trying to find your own pace and approach? Here are some characteristics that suggest you are being a ‘true’ leader – one that can encourage performance at a team and individual level:
1) You’re self aware – and naturally reflect on your performance without bias, putting in work to improve your weaknesses, to overcome fears and to leverage your strengths.
2) You lead with your heart and dig deep to lead with empathy and courage
3) You naturally focus on the long-term results and gains, rather than obsessing over short-term or temporary setbacks. You know that hard work will pay off in the long term.
4) You have a profound sense of integrity and character – saying things that you mean, keeping your word, and being a figure that people trust.
5) You lead with vision and purpose – adding value to everyone you engage with and supporting your team to reach their own full potential and to achieve their own ambitions – at work and in their personal lives. You push others to achieve and raise the collective bar in the process.
6) Your listening skills are excellent and you are willing to listen and keep an open mind when presented with ideas which conflict with your own views.
7) You are transparent and believe in empathy, directness and open communication. Crucially, the person you are in private and in public is not drastically dissimilar. You are also comfortable in admitting to your weaknesses and don’t hide your mistakes.
8) You are consistent and stick to your principles and behaviours – being unimpressed by superficial things.
9) You share success with your team and give credit where it is due.
10) You learn from your life experiences and draw on these lessons to develop real-world leadership skills.
As you can see from this non-exhaustive list, the attributes of an authentic leader are intuitive and also attributes that we can all develop. Every single one of us has the potential to be an excellent, authentic leader and one that gets the best from others and is respected and admired by them as a result. Isn’t is the kind of leader that we all want to be?
Getting help with your own development
A career coach can help you to work on your own development areas and towards clear career goals that are meaningful to you. Perhaps you want to become a better leader and to develop your own approach to authentic leadership for profound career benefits? In that case, why not contact me today for a no-obligation chat about your ambitions, your goals and your needs – and we will put together a unique plan of action tailored around your needs.