To be an authentic leader, just be yourself.


I met a leader who was getting feedback from his manager at work that he was not being seen as authentic.  I will call this leader Tom.  I asked Tom some questions to better understand his perspective on the feedback.  What did he think was holding him back from being an authentic leader?   Is he trying to be what someone else wants him to be?  Is he comparing himself to others and trying to be like them?  Is he different when he is at home or with his friends than how he is at work?

What Tom doesn’t realize is that people around him can see through him when he isn’t being authentic.   They don’t  trust him and they don’t feel that he is being genuine.   To build a relationship with his team and peers is primarily based on a foundation of trust.    Without it, getting things done is more of a challenge, collaboration can be stalled and people become disengaged.

I suggested to Tom that he should do some research.  Ask for feedback from his team, peers and friends to find out how he is being perceived.   Take this feedback and implement an action plan to make some changes.  Tom should find someone he trusts to give him regular feedback on the changes he is making to ensure he is making progress.

Authentic Leadership comes through when you are transparent about things, have high self-awareness, care about those around you and you can be yourself.   It is so much easier to be yourself than to spend your time trying to be somebody else.

Developing authenticity in leaders is one of my passions as a coach.  Leaders who have worked on this with me have gone on to more senior roles and are leading engaged teams.  If you want to connect with me to grow your own authenticity, please set up a complimentary session using this link:

1 Comment

  1. Alissa

    Great post! I also think being an authentic leader is about being confident in who you are and what you are trying to accomplish. As I have learned my strengths and navigated into different roles, I have also learned the value that I bring. Because of this knowledge, I am more comfortable and natural at just being me.


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