Authentic Leadership: A Double-Edged Sword
Our rising discontent with slick, airbrushed leadership is what makes authenticity such a desirable characteristic in today’s businesses — a one that, regrettably, is in short supply. Authenticity is associated with sincerity, honesty, and integrity by both leaders and followers. It’s the real deal — the quality that distinguishes exceptional leaders.
Authenticity is a state of healthy alignment between one’s own values and beliefs and one’s actions in the external world. Authenticity comes from developing your own style and leadership style — and from making life choices that reflect your values and personality.
Authenticity has its beginnings and foundations in ancient Greek history, where philosophers were famous for moral injunctions such as ‘know thyself’ and ‘be true to thine own self’. Snyder Harter(2002) defines authenticity as “owning one’s personal experiences, whether they are thoughts, emotions, needs, wants, preferences, or beliefs, processes captured by the injunction to know oneself, and implying that one acts in accordance with one’s true self, expressing oneself in ways consistent with inner thoughts and feelings” in his paper.