Authentic leadership is a topic that continues to be examined in the workplace. How does improving individual and team performance impact profits, employee satisfaction levels, and relationships? Should the emphasis be on the people, or on the profit?

There have been conflicting studies about the results, but one thing that is clear is that authenticity does impact the work climate.

When you hear “authentic leadership,” what does that mean to you? One definition is:

Authentic leaders are positive people with truthful self-concepts who promote openness. By building trust and generating enthusiastic support from their subordinates, authentic leaders are able to improve individual and team performance.

To Bill George, author of Authentic Leadership it means “genuine, worthy of trust, reliance, or belief.” He also says authentic leaders demonstrate the following qualities:

  • Understand their purpose (passion)
    • If you lack purpose and direction in your leadership, why would anyone want to follow you?
  • Practice solid values (behaviors)
    • The values of a leader are shaped by their personal beliefs, developed through study, introspection, and consultation with others, and require 100% integrity.
  • Lead with heart (compassion)
    • Engage the minds and hearts of your employees through a sense of purpose.Greatness (and results!) are achieved when multiple minds contribute to the task.
  • Establish connected relationships (networks)
    • A detached leadership style often used when providing strategy or delegating will not lead to success as much as developing close and enduring relationships will.
  • Demonstrate self-discipline (consistency)
    • Converting values into consistent actions lends itself to building respect. We must admit our mistakes and not let ego or emotion impact our actions.

To self-assess, ask yourself:

  1. What’s the purpose of my leadership? Do I really want to devote my talents to the profession I’m currently in?
  2. Am I in a position where I can make a real difference and feel valued?
  3. Do I ever check my beliefs at the office door? When?
  4. How can I stay true to my values when there are so many pressures to compromise?
  5. Can I develop close relationships with my subordinates and still achieve my objectives?

To be truly authentic, validate what’s important to you and align your personal and professional lives accordingly. We also suggest having clearly defined vision, mission and goals, and ensure all your actions support your ability to achieve them.

Are you authentic? How are you improving individual and team performance?

QwikTips & QwikCoach

PeopleTek’s Strategic partner, E-Coach, specializes in online coaching tools.

For those with a QwikCoach license, refresh your existing skills and acquire new skills by visiting the QwikTips library for leadership ideas and techniques.

If you don’t have QwikCoach, it’s an excellent resource for growing your leadership skills remotely that you should consider.

Help turn your leadership knowledge into leadership action!

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