Genuine leadership is not a new notion.
It’s been around since the 1960s, but Bill George’s book Authentic Leadership brought it to the forefront in 2003.
Despite its maturity, genuine leadership as a leadership style is still in its infancy theologically. Researchers are starting to agree on certain aspects. However, multiple definitions continue to circulate. So, if you’re perplexed, you’re not alone – even scientists disagree!
A popular definition of real leadership is as follows:
“Authentic leadership is a leadership style that emphasises transparency and ethical leader behaviour and fosters open sharing of decision-making information while allowing followers’ participation.”
The experts appear to agree that real leadership is about being yourself but still making room for others. It incorporates a fair dosage of common sense as well as some ethics for good measure. You may seek consultation from the Best Psychiatrist near me at TalktoAngel for the mental health concern if authentic leadership styles are effecting you.
Unfortunately for some, the arrogant bulldozer style does not cut the mustard when it comes to true leadership.
What is the significance of true leadership?
The majority of people dislike having the wool pulled over their eyes.
In fact, we despise it so much that our brains waste a significant amount of work, mainly unconsciously, sifting through millions of bytes of data. Our minds are looking for discrepancies. Inconsistency can be as subtle as a micro-expression (for example, your eyes do not grin when your lips does). It might also be significant (she said she was going to do x, but did y instead without explanation).
When an inconsistency appears, a series of physiological and psychological processes take place. Most people interpret this as a flashing red light on our consciousness’ dashboard labelled ‘suspicion.’
Why is this a problem?
First and foremost, it diverts your incredibly bright workers’ attention away from what they do best – their work.
Their brains are suddenly pushed into overdrive. They begin to form hypotheses concerning the discrepancy they have discovered. In the absence of accurate facts, we fabricate negative stories due to a negativity bias. We are more inclined to ruminate and anticipate the worst-case scenario.
That implies your staff will most likely be wasting their valuable mental energy. Instead, they’ll be busy fabricating bad stories about you. Consult with the Best Psychiatrist near me at TalktoAngel if authentic leadership is affecting your mental health.
People are weary with airbrushed leaders riding on their high horses, which is why true leadership is in such great demand.
Leading from a distance is a thing of the past. Real individuals who are honest, gutsy, and eager to roll up their sleeves and jump into the trenches inspire today’s employees.
People desire leaders with whom they can communicate and who understand them. They want leaders with whom they can identify.
In other words, we seek leaders who are similar to ourselves but further down the route.
If you want to fully use the power of your team, you must provide more than a salary. You must first tap into their inner desire and motivate them as people.
Authentic leadership bridges the gap between an inspired and motivated workforce.
Authentic leadership qualities
Authentic leaders have the following characteristics:
Leaders that are truly transformative have a strong sense of self.
They are aware of their own strengths and flaws, as well as the limitations of their talents.
They frequently have strong emotional intelligence, a leadership characteristic that is frequently required to become a great leader. A successful leader is self-aware in the sense that they observe. They respond to how others interpret their words and behaviours.
• Excellent listening abilities
A competent leader can provide sound guidance. A better leader, on the other hand, builds trust in a relationship by actively listening to what his peers and subordinates have to say. A better leader attempts to comprehend people’ perspectives from a moral standpoint.
A strong leader with well-developed listening abilities can correctly identify the demands of their team and clients.
They also make decisions that represent their personal beliefs and add long-term value to others around them by increasing work happiness.
• Controlling one’s emotions
Everyone experiences emotions. This includes anyone in a position of authority.
But what truly displays a leader’s authenticity is their ability to avoid allowing their emotions to interfere with their function as a leader.
A genuine transformative leader can provide candid feedback without allowing personal displeasure to cloud their judgement and actions.
Of course, the bulk of executives work for a company with financial objectives. It’s common for them to spend a significant amount of time driving the organisation toward those objectives.
A leader who truly demonstrates an authentic leadership style, on the other hand, invests as much energy in responding to the life experiences of individuals around them as they do in meeting those goals.Relationships are valued at least as much as achievements in transformational leadership.
Almost everyone can look back on their life and pinpoint places where they have erred. Leaders are not immune to making errors.
Unfortunately, not all leaders are skilled at accepting responsibility for their errors.
It is a leader that has a strong internalised moral stance and holds themselves completely accountable for their failures.
Part of what distinguishes a real leader is their capacity for empathy. This is frequently associated with a degree of relational transparency.
Others can see that the leader is presenting their true self via their relationships with others around them.
An empathic leader recognises that their personnel are human beings with both positive and bad traits. As a result, they endeavour to comprehend the motivations and causes behind their team’s less-than-satisfactory conduct. They do not instantly rebuke.
A strong leader demonstrates true conduct by putting their ego aside. They operate in ways that benefit the entire company rather than just themselves.
• Long-term objectives
A genuine leader has long-term team goals that are aligned with their ethical basis. They are open about possible roadblocks and understand the need of identifying these issues in order to overcome them.
Some of these objectives will be tied to organisational performance, but most leaders have broader objectives that go beyond their unique function.
An authentic leader shares those goals with others and encourages them to work toward them.
• Internal ethics code
A leader must have a positive internal code of ethics that is resistant to external influences in order to demonstrate any form of ethical behaviour.
Otherwise, such acts become inconsistent and may be perceived as unauthentic by others.
How to Create a Genuine Leadership Style
The good news is that your leadership style is not set in stone. It is entirely feasible to cultivate an authentic leadership style.
Self-awareness is at the centre of this practise. Engaging in some type of self-reflection will get you far. It helps you to evaluate your own interests and ambitions, see how they fit with those of your team members, and comprehend why they are important.
Working with a coach may significantly speed up the learning process. If you can’t afford a coach, here are some ideas for getting started on your own.
1. Investigate your values.
Every choice you’ve ever taken and every argument you’ve ever had is a result of your basic leadership principles and the importance you place on those values. Surprisingly, few people can express precisely what their essential principles are.
If you want to understand what makes you tick, you must first observe yourself and then learn from your findings.
Make yourself a scientist. Observations may be recorded and analysed to help you learn in the present. It also has the additional benefit of assisting you in identifying broader patterns and cycles in your life.
3. Obtain feedback
Ongoing comments should be actively sought. Begin by texting 20 individuals in your life (at work and at home) and asking them to send you three adjectives that characterise you.
The issue with feedback is that you occasionally hear things you don’t want to hear. This is where the journal can help. Make a note of any sensations that occur (good or negative).
Think about it carefully. What caused these emotions to be triggered by the feedback? Is there any validity to the feedback? If you didn’t reply aggressively, one of your principles was violated. Which one was it, exactly?
4. Practice ruthless honesty with oneself while being kind with others.
To be authentic, your ideas, words, and actions must all be in sync. This is especially true when it comes to bringing honesty to work and preserving it outside of the job.
When you are honest with yourself about the trade-offs you are making and why you are making them, you will achieve alignment.
That doesn’t imply you’ll always be able to establish a flawless compromise between the many factions of your own thinking. However, it does imply that you will thoroughly analyse each choice and its implications before making a final decision.
Take an honest (judgment-free) look at your intentions before determining whether to provide feedback to others.
If the feedback isn’t going to be constructive, keep quiet until you’re ready to provide it in a constructive way.
5. Improve your listening abilities
Genuine leaders are masters at listening.
The first step toward mastering this ability is to simply close your mouth when someone else is speaking. It may appear apparent, yet it is not always easy to implement. When others talk, you learn more than when you speak.
Instead of thinking about what you’re going to say next, use listening time to practise mindfulness and being completely present. Listening fosters understanding, empathy, and trust between managers and team members in this way.
6. Share your personal experiences.
Sharing personal tales with your team may be a great approach to truly motivate them.
A genuine leader utilises tales to soothe, inspire, and encourage others. The trick is to use caution and not overdo it.
A leader who shares a personal victory story during a time when the team is struggling might be motivating. A leader who tells a personal tale at every team meeting that no one else can connect to or has a personal stake in may be seen as narcissistic.
Keep in mind that genuine leaders are themselves, and they provide way for others.
7. Create your own ethical code.
What are you committing to as an authentic leader? What are your absolute non-negotiables? What boundaries would you not breach, even if it means losing your job?
Invest some time in writing this down. See here for more information on creating your own code of ethics.
Once you’ve written it down, make it a reality by reading it aloud to a friend or co-worker.
8. Create a leadership development strategy.
Authentic leadership is a state of being rather than a destination.
The most effective leaders are constantly and actively evolving. Make a leadership learning plan for yourself and evaluate it on a regular basis.
What resources do you have at your disposal to help you grow as an authentic leader?
9. Be open to new ideas.
Genuine leaders give equal weight to opposing opinions.
Before making a decision, pause and ask at least three questions to thoroughly grasp the opinions of team members.
When team members offer proposals that do not correspond with your present viewpoint, investigate the causes for these misalignments. Consider what they signify, why they happen, and why they are important.
It’s also critical to focus on what your team members have in common: a shared goal, vision, and values. Misalignments may be more readily addressed and overcome by concentrating on the qualities that unite team members, resulting in stronger, more collaborative solutions.
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