4.2 Authentic leadership
Many commentators emphasize the value of being authentic in what we do and say, so it’s no surprise to find a focus on authenticity within leadership.
This theory is still in the formative phase of development, and may change as further research is undertaken, but at this stage George (2003) explains authentic leadership as follows:
Authentic leaders genuinely desire to serve others through their leadership. They are more interested in empowering the people they lead to make a difference than they are in power, money, or prestige for themselves. They are as guided by qualities of the heart, by passion and compassion, as they are by qualities of the mind.
He goes on to suggest that authentic leaders demonstrate five qualities:
- Understanding their purpose
- Practising solid values
- Leading with their heart
- Establishing connected relationships
- Demonstrating self-discipline