Pressure from employees, stakeholders, and customers can make leaders feel that they need to ‘act out of character’ in order to sustain themselves and their organizations. However, current research suggests that a key-differentiating factor between good and great leaders may be authenticity. Shakespeare’s “to thine own self be true” may be a critical rallying call for current and future leaders. Distinguishing itself from the more traditional views of leadership, the authentic leadership model elicits the importance of a leader being true to him or her self. When acting from a position of truth to your own beliefs, your actions and behaviour are perceived as authentic and genuine. Engaging in authentic behaviour is proving to be a crucial contributing factor to individual, team and organizational success.
What is authentic leadership?
At its core, authentic leadership is composed of four distinct, yet overlapping parts. The power of this model rests not just in its simplicity, but also in its strong intuitive appeal. The elements of authentic leadership include: