3 Ways to Practice & Make Sense of Authenticity for Every Leader

Your Challenge and Myths About Authenticity

  • Not sure, what authenticity entails
  • Believing that leadership is about being efficient
  • Thinking that adapting to different roles as a leader needs a lot of pretense to fit into the organizational environment 

Our Advice

Authenticity has been raved about in the context of being an effective leader for years focusing immensely on the process of self awareness and self discovery. But why?

Let’s keep it simple. Authenticity belongs to the area of character and not personality. Don’t get it all confused. Referring to the famous leadership guru Stephen Covey, the success that comes from efficiency belongs to the personality of a leader. However, the success driven through effectiveness belongs to the character.

Here are 3 critical ways to put authenticity to practice as a leader:

1. Making peace and comfort with self: Being self-aware and then skillfully using the self-knowledge is one of the critical practices of authenticity for leaders. It involves making peace with themselves with a greater sense of acceptance of their origins and the path leading to their ultimate destination. Such self-knowledge keeps them grounded and provides an underlying promise of authenticity in the way they influence others.

2. Consistency between words and actions: Doing what is said by a leader is significant for being ‘genuine’. Nothing more can betray leaders than trying to persuade other to do something that they won’t do themselves. Aligning words to actions is critical but not enough though.

3. Role-coherence: A leader inevitably plays a lot of roles to adapt to various situations and address the different audience to drive effective performance. There is a chance of slipping into extreme behaviors that can break the thread of authenticity through pressure and pretense. Keeping the core character the same across all roles gives out a strong message to others about a leader’s authenticity. For example, practicing integrity and emotional intelligence to better understand others for inclusive and equitable actions in every role.

Our Recommendation

Wired for Authenticity: Seven Practices to Inspire, Adapt, Lead by Henna Inam

Henna Inam shares proven strategies based on neuroscience research and her work as an executive coach and speaker, with clients who are executives in Fortune 500 companies. The practical tools she shares in this book have worked for her clients and can help you:

  • practice a new model of authenticity to be more trusted and agile and less overwhelmed;
  • experience greater success and fulfillment in your leadership, workplace, and life;
  • engage and influence clients, peers, and bosses more powerfully; and
  • lead team members with more inspiration and ease.