by Izabela Lundberg, Featured Contributor
WHAT IS Authentic Leadership and why is it so important? In my humble opinion, authentic leadership is demonstrated through pure heart-led and centered on genuine, self-aware, mission and value driven leadership. Simply put, as you meet, speak and listen with thousands of wide ranging leaders and influencers over the years, you start to recognize special patterns and common traits over and over.
Further, you start to indentify with that authentic voice, style and synergy within your own authenticity. It is magical because you can be a unique, valuable and tremendously impactful and authentic version of yourself among other authentic leaders.
Yes, in all my research, the greatest leaders looked inward and were able to tell a good story with authenticity and passion.” ~ Deepak Chopra
Today as I am writing this post, I want to not only emphasize the importance of authentic leadership, but also to honor some exceptional role models of authentic leadership in your life too. Beside well known and recognized names such us Oprah, Stephen Covey, John Maxwell, Dalai Lama, Mahatma Gandhi, please think about people in your life that consistently demonstrate their authentic leadership and what impact they have had on your life.
Five Key Elements of Authentic Leadership:
1. Behaving and Breathing Authentic Leadership 24/7
Leadership is not your business suit that you wear only while at work. It is who you are 24/7!” ~ Izabela Lundberg
Anyone who thinks that leadership is performance and show it only while they are in open and visible settings, may be wondering why it is so hard to create synergy with others or why employees or partners do not trust or like them. If you can’t be authentic and true to yourself, it will show in so many places that sooner or later it will make you tired, inconsistent and very hard to trust and follow.
2. Walk the Talk – You are ready to take risks and responsibilities for your own actions as well as your team! If things are challenging and difficult, that is the time to shine. As one of my mentors JR shared with me so many times, “You find out who true leaders are not in the oasis (when things are good) but in the dessert!” It is amazing when you see consistencY of quality in a person and extraordinary leadership from them during the worst times of their life. Integrity is demonstrated regardless if they are on the bottom (things aren’t going so well) or on top (everything is working perfectly)! To me these are perfect examples of great role models that we can learn so much.
3. Demonstrate Consistently Shared Values & Integrity – If you are demonstrating these values especially during challenging times with integrity, your employees, partners and vendors will not only respect you more, but also work with you to find optimal solution! Wow – this is so powerful! It is time to wake up world and assess your game plan and strategy.
- Allow Others to Take the Lead – By allowing smart and capable team members at times to lead and coach us, it can be tremendously impactful, timely and relevant! We can’t always be right nor can we know everything. The moment we stop learning – we stop growing as a leader.
- Know When & How to Authentically Influence & Impact – Creating High Levels of Engagement and Support by Leading with Value! That is a very simple concept yet very powerful when accomplished. Most recently I experienced a high level of engagement, value and support through BIZCATALYST360° under the authentic leadership of Dennis Pitocco. In less then two years he has managed to grow his global network on Linkedin by building a professional Group audience of more than 50 thousand members in over 137 countries. Why? How? By positively influencing and impacting others as well as allowing other thought leaders to share the stage with him to make it happen!
Learn. Lead. Love. Game on!