Authenticity - what is it, and why does it matter?

August 27, 2019

Have you ever noticed how often people bring up the word ‘authenticity’ when they talk
about leadership?

But when our people ask for authentic leadership, what are they really looking for?

What they are really saying, is that as humans we instinctively distrust anyone or anything that appears to have an ulterior motive that isn’t in our best interests. We look for signs -
like whether someone seems to be acting a role, or whether they are trying to convince us of something that isn’t true - and immediately our barriers go up.

As a leader you need to realise that you can’t mimic someone else’s representation of leadership. Sure you can take inspiration and role model behaviours, but ultimately, you
need to fully believe and invest in the role you are playing.

Here are my top tips for making sure that your leadership style is authentic to you:

- Leadership has always got to be defined by the individual.
- You can’t pretend to be someone else as a leader, because that will be
discovered pretty easily.
- Find your own leadership style, through experimentation and self
- Be honest and use words that are your words, try to mimic someone
- Learn a lot from the leadership styles of other people, but you’ve got to find your own personal way of implementing those learnings.

If you follow these tips, you will find that you earn the trust and respect of your team and your peers. Remember that even if you have unpopular news to deliver, if you deliver it with authenticity and integrity you will have more respect than if you try and hide it or dress it up.

Commment code: