🔦 SKILLS SPOTLIGHT is our (semi) monthly series where we dive deep into a different skill based on the insights generated by our Content Intelligence tech and skills framework projects with our clients. See past spotlights.
Let’s start with a definition — OUR DEFINITION — of skills and authentic leadership.
Our Skills Palette definition of Authentic leadership is:
Being one’s true self in a leadership role, acknowledging one’s own strengths and weaknesses and challenges of the role, rather than seeking to project an unrealistic leadership ideal.
Note: We unpack the Filtered definition of skills in a bit more detail here.
Authenticity leads to deeper connections with others, with obvious emotional and professional benefits in leadership roles. In her classic TED talk outlining her research into authenticity, Brené Brown describes how a feeling of worthiness despite (or even because of) vulnerability is what differentiates people who feel connected from those who feel isolated.
Professor Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic’s article can be read either as a counterpoint to the prevailing view that authenticity is a characteristic of effective leadership, or perhaps simply as drawing the distinction between authenticity and a narcissistic expectation that the world needs to fit around your flaws.
This Hubsparticle proposes a framework for developing and sustaining authenticity as a leader,and gives some pointers that acknowledge the difficulties.
This LinkedIn Learning course by Ken Blanchard on Servant Leadership includes advice on the practicalities of implementing the approach in an organisation, and of building authenticity into your leadership approach as a habit.
In his book Good to Great, Jim Collins examines the characteristics that distinguish companies that transformed steady performance into stellar results from comparators that continued to drift. One such differentiator was leaders who didn’t act the strong-leadership the stereotype: humble but quietly determined, focused on the company not their own style or legend. This GetAbstract summary of the book paints the picture of how these atypical leaders deliver results.