Having worked with several leaders over the course of my career as a service professional, I can confidently say that only a few of them were authentic leaders. And no, I’m not implying the others weren’t any good. Not at all. What I’m saying is that being an authentic leader is a much deeper commitment to oneself and what they believe in.
Authentic leaders know what’s important and stay focused on following their true north, which guides them to be the best versions of themselves as persons and leaders. They’re passionate about serving a bigger cause by collaborating to meet goals and motivating others to reach their potential than their own successes.
But here’s the most important part — they’re also highly self-aware of their natural strengths and talents in addition to their weaknesses. And this self-awareness gives them the confidence to collaborate with others to complement their shortcomings.
Now, that may sound too idealistic but it’s true. It seems as if there’s an internal compass that guides them to be who they are. Bill George’s “True North” explains how an authentic leader identifies their biggest values through life experiences and literally lives by them through the best times and the worst times.
I also read this great story about Howard Schultz:
When an accident caused his father to lose his job, his whole family lost their health coverage. Schultz’s mother was pregnant and unable to work, so his parents borrowed money and avoided bill collectors.Schultz had vowed to create a different reality for workers if he had the chance, and he thus made Starbucks the first company in the United States to offer health coverage to part-time employees working as little as 20 hours a week.In this case, Schultz’s experience and memories of his father carried him along the path to authentic leadership.True North, Blinkist
Now, that’s an authentic leader. Have you come to know any in your life? What have you learned from them? And most importantly, what values do you live by through thick and thin?