... About Authentic Leadership
As I’m sure you're well aware, leadership isn’t something you do to other people. Rather you do it with other people. Which means it gets messy and authenticity alone isn’t enough. Goffee and Jones in their fantastic book "Why should anyone be led by you?" say you need to provide your followers with:
Community– we are hard wired for sociability & want to feel part of something bigger. How are you going to do that in your organisation?
Authenticity– we choose to be led by humans so identify & deploy your personal differences, your foibles & strengths, to remind people you’re human and not a Peter Perfect.
Significance– we want to believe that our efforts matter. Recognise roles & contributions in a meaningful way, with highly personalized feedback.
Excitement– we need to be inspired to higher levels of effort & achievement. Articulate your personal passion, values & vision to provide the energy & enthusiasm your colleagues are hungry for.
They feel some leadership practices are more important than others so concentrate on:
Becoming a situational sensor– listen, observe, pick up non-verbals. Adapt effectively to the context without losing your sense of self. I’m not strong in this area & have to continually work at being an active listener.
Know & show yourself – enough. What is special about you that works with others? What core values fuel you? What strengths differentiate you? Determine which parts of yourself to disclose in order to strengthen your relationships & inspire others to action. But the key is ‘enough’, you don’t need to show them everything.
Get close but keep your distance– this is leadership not friendship, which is difficult in a small organisation or if you’re just a nice person. It’s not quite as black and white as this in reality. Manage relationships by knowing when to empathise or get personal and when to step back to keep people focused on the organisation’s goals.
Communicate with care– this requires an appreciation of the message, the context, your followers and your personal strengths & weaknesses as a communicator. This is an area where I have to force myself to slow down and think it through, rather than trying to get the message out and move on to the next thing.