Definition: Authentic leadership is an approach to leadership that emphasises building the leader's legitimacy through honest relationships with followers which value their input and are built on an ethical foundation. Generally, 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. This approach has been fully embraced by many leaders and leadership coaches who view authentic leadership as an alternative to leaders who emphasize profit and share price over people and ethics.
Recently, when working on a new workshop for Unilever on Authentic Leadership, an interesting dichotomy was raised:
If you are authentic are you limited to the environment you can work in?
The answer lies in one of the NLP presuppositions:-
"The person with the most flexibility in behaviour will be the most successful."
The secret is to be authentic, be the real you, the very best of you, and at the same time, ensure you are flexible to adapt to the needs of others and your environment. In this way you can achieve in any situation by being the real you and adapting your behaviour to suit your situation.
It's worth asking yourself: How do I do this? Does my leadership style reduce my effectiveness, or maximise it. If you want to know more about authentic leadership and how it can help your leaders, do contact us for details of our Authentic Leadership Course.