Which characteristics make for an authentic leader? Here’s five that we think all true leaders possess.
5 characteristics of authentic leaders:
Trustworthy: We need leaders that can be trusted – that show integrity, credibility, reliability and congruence. Leaders who that say what they mean, mean what they say and do what they say they will – keeping their promises.
Human: They are approachable, not hiding behind their role or status. They are capable of a degree of intimate connection and are in touch with their own emotions as well as those of others. They are not afraid to show their emotions when appropriate.
Humble: Authentic leaders are self-aware, they know their strengths and limitations. They recognise the need to work with those who have complementary strengths. They own up to their mistakes and offer a sincere apology when appropriate, particularly, when they break a promise. These leaders recognise that they are on a journey; that they are still learning.
Principled: They know what they believe, what they value and the principles that they will live and die by. This doesn’t mean they are rigid and unable to compromise – they should be able to flex and give on many issues when the situation demands it. But they know where their line is drawn, there are certain principles on which they will not compromise even if it means that profits, popularity or prospects will suffer as a result.
Other-Centred: Authentic leaders are not self-absorbed or self-centred, but basically secure in themselves, comfortable in their own skin, and as a result are able to keep their focus on serving others. They are not self promoting but recognise their role is to enable and empower others to be the best they can be for their own good and the good of the organisation.
Take a moment to think, are you portraying these characteristic and coming across to your people as an authentic leader?