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The Power of Authentic Leadership: How to Lead with Transparency, Integrity, and Purpose
Whether you have been promoted to some leadership position quite lately, or you have been leading a team for several years, it might sometimes feel challenging to understand the true meaning of a ‘good leader.’
As you start unraveling the primary components of being a great leader, it is easy to fall back on specific aspects associated with leadership -terms like confident, inspirational, and assertive. What is the meaning of ‘authentic leadership?’ While the overall concept of authentic leadership is not relatively new, it features its origins back to the times of ancient Greek philosophy. The philosophy put forth that authenticity served to be a crucial state of the overall being while allowing you to control your destiny. In the modern concept of leadership, it indeed feels important.
Research reveals that authentic leadership is one of the strongest indicators of the overall job satisfaction, workplace happiness, and organizational commitment of an employee. To ensure maximum productivity and long-term happiness for your team, it is important to depict a specific level of authenticity when you are a leader.
What is Authentic Leadership?
Authentic leadership is an important management style within which leaders serve to be self-aware, genuine, and immensely transparent. An authentic leader is capable of inspiring trust and loyalty in the respective employees by continuously depicting his or her individuality, and how they feel about the overall employee performance.
Understanding Authentic Leadership Theory
Here are some basic components of the theory of authentic leadership”
When you are a leader, it is important to ensure a stronger sense of yourself -including values, strengths, and weaknesses. It is not possible to depict authenticity in the form of a leader if you are not sure of your individuality or what you actually stand for in the first place.
Moreover, when you display both your strengths and weaknesses in front of the team, you are able to present that there is nothing to hide about you. Moreover, it also demonstrates that you are not playing games. In this manner, you are effectively equipped to build trust within your team. When an employee will commit a mistake, he or she will be confident in letting you know.
Self-awareness also serves as a crucial aspect of growing as a leader while strengthening other crucial components of authentic leadership. For example, when you notice you are not doing a great job at displaying transparency with your team, you can take further steps towards rectifying the same. Here are some important ways in which leaders can look forward to practicing self-awareness −
Seeking feedback from the surrounding environment
Using self-reflection to effectively understand your behavior
Practicing self-regulation daily to be aware of your overall feelings always
Self-awareness is pivotal to acting in the right manner as a leader. It also allows you to feel empathy towards how your employees might be perceiving your valuable feedback.
Subtle messaging, passive aggression, and convoluted feedback will never depict any position in authentic leadership. If you wish to truly practice authenticity as a leader, it is important to be genuine, honest, and straightforward with your team. Make them aware of your standing. In case they commit mistakes, make them aware of the same.
While it might appear counterintuitive, it will indeed work in your favor in the long run. It is because employees trust that you are not hiding anything from them -especially with respect to their performance. Honesty and transparency are expected to be encouraged by a leader if you wish your organization to be successful.
The fact is that authentic leadership should commence with you depicting behavior you hope to observe in your employees subsequently. If you are not honest and transparent, how can you expect your employees to come forth with problems as they arise?
A leader is expected to make relevant decisions while staying true to the respective decision in case opposition arises. At the same time, a leader is also expected to be capable of receiving as well as considering alternative suggestions before coming forth with a dedicated course of action.
While ensuring crucial decisions, it is crucial to ask for alternative suggestions while being open to discussion. While it is pivotal to be with your values, it is equally important that you seek opinions from the opposition as well. This will help you observe flaws in the initial course of action while allowing you to strengthen your existing argument by understanding all important points of view.
Moreover, if you wish to serve as an authentic leader, it is important to come up with an environment in which employees feel encouraged and safe with respect to sharing their opinions. This links back to self-awareness -you should be self-aware to accept your opinions. When you collect relevant feedback from outside, you are able to observe potential weaknesses in the respective decision.
Internalized Moral Perspective
An authentic leader is expected to understand where he or she should put the company’s needs and the customers ahead of the entire team. Eventually, a leader is expected to be focused on taking the right steps for ensuring the long-term success of the entire business. Moreover, it is crucial that the leader depicts stronger integrity and ethical values while exercising these traits even when cutoffs might be taking place.
When you are a leader who emphasizes doing the right things, you are effectively equipped to set up the entire team for long-term success.
Ultimately, authenticity in leadership is just like any other skill. Moreover, skills can always be developed over time -depending on overall conscious efforts. To ensure that you are leading your entire team, it is important that you are highly focused on depicting authenticity whenever possible.
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