Authenticity is based on the Greek word authenticos, which does mean credibility. Trust and reliability are key drivers behind authenticity. If you do what you say people will trust you and you’ll become a reliable person for them. If this doing is in line with your inner beliefs, it does mean your behavior is authentic.
In other words, authenticity has to do with being loyal. Being loyal to yourself, to your own values and your own identity. It’s the proof of your identity. Your behavior should match your identity. If this is not the case, there is a false self.
Authentic leadership emphasizes that leadership is based on honest relationships with followers. The ancient Greece developped the concept of authenticity. However, authentic leadership as we know nowadays is originated in the 1960s as a means to describe how an organization reflects itself authentically through leadership.
Qualities of authentic leaders
To clarify, the concept itself is not yet fully mature in a theoretical sense, there are many different definitions of authentic leadership. Each of these has their own nuances. However, consensus appears that authentic leadership includes the following distinct qualities.
Firstly, this is self-awareness. Self-awareness is the ongoing process of reflection and re-examination of your own strength, weaknesses, and values. Secondly it is about Relational Transparency. Relational Transparancy is the sharing of your own thoughts and beliefs, balanced by a minimization of inappropriate emotions. Thirdly, balanced processing is a quality of authentic leadership. Balanced Processing a fair-minded considerations of opposing viewpoints. Lastly, the Internalized Moral Perspective is key in authentic leadership. The Internalized Moral Perspective is a positive ethical foundation of the leader. Above all, it means that the leader is is taking decisions resistant to outside pressures.
Example of authenticity
When we talk about authenticity one of the great examples for me are the wisdom keepers on earth. They are loyal to themselves, to their own values and identity. Do you want to read more about them? Check the article ‘Down to Earth’.
A career tiger is someone fully focused on building a successful career. It is a very hard worker, who takes every opportunity, dares to take risks and it is somebody with a lot of ambition. Getting status by moving to top management level in a company is the goal of this person. Same time salary, respect and material things like cars, laptops and houses are important. It is that what makes him or her successful.
The future of the career tiger
Is their still a future for this highly ambitious and status-driven persons? In our article ‘The end for career tigers?‘ we explain in more detail the identity of these persons and if they are future-proof due to a changing work environment.
In sport, a huddle is an action of a team gathering together, to strategize, motivate or celebrate. Usually people are standing in a tight circle to make sure opponents are able to hear sensitive information. Same time the circle helps to eliminate the noise in the venue where normal communication is difficult. The leader of the huddle is usually the team captain and it is this person who will inspire other team members to achieve success.
In business, we use a huddle to get the team shortly together as well. This short team meeting takes maximum 15-20 minutes and can be done daily or weekly. Topics like new customers, success stories and the plan for today can be discussed.
Why do I need a huddle?
A good huddle can greatly improve communication within and alignment of your team. Next to that, a well organized huddle increases the level of motivation from your team members. However, if a huddle is not good, these positive effects won’t appear. Instead, it can become a boring meeting, something that has to be done, but that people don’t like. In this case, the motivation will drop and the chance to sparkle is gone.
How to create an effective team meeting?
In order to have an effective, useful and positive huddle you have to:
- Define the purpose of your huddle;
- Inspire others via storytelling;
- Implement different tools for interaction;
- Use a huddle template;
- Find inspiration easily;
- Make sure everybody is involved;
- Lead the huddle effectively.
Do you want to learn more about a huddle? Check out our Print & Play free game template or join our 7-day huddle challenge.
Identity refers to who someone is. It’s about your name, who your are, about your characteristics. Identity is based on your inner thoughts and believes. What is important to you? In order to define your identity, it is important to define your purpose and meaning of life.
Identity based leadership
The foundation of the identity-based leadership is the thought that effective leadership cannot be understood without a focus on the psychological effects that the leader has on his or her followers. Leader behavior which results in a follower personally identifying with the leader will generate trust in the leader and increased commitment and motivation.
Identity versus personality
Your identity refers to a set op moral and mental qualities and beliefs, that makes you different from somebody else. On the other hand, personality refers to the combination of qualities, attitude and behavior that makes you different from somebody else. Next to that, personality implies who we seem to be, while our identity represents who we actually are.
Do you show your real self?
Are you showing your real self? A world where you don’t show others who you are and what you can doesn’t sound perfect, but in reality this might happen more often than you can think of. Read more about this in our article ‘Let it go’.
Labeling is a process of giving an individual a title they have not chosen for themselves. This title carries with it preconceived ideas, and characteristics about the individual.
Positive effects of putting people in boxes
Labeling can be done from a positive or negative perspective. There are many positive sides of labeling. When you’ve a certain label you can feel being part of a group. You feel save as who you are has a name and is clear. When you use positive labels, like hard-working, inspiring, promising, and so on, you’ll be encouraged to achieve more since these positive words make you feel good about yourself. Human beings need clarity and putting people in boxes gives that clarity.
Negative effects of putting people in boxes
Labeling has also it downsides. In society, labeling is often based on prejudices. When you see somebody with a lot of tattoos you might label him/her differently than somebody who wears a nice suit, without knowing any of those two. People can be excluded from groups as there is no fit and they have the wrong label. In order to belong to a group, you might start faking who you are in order to get the right label to enter. Negative labeling has a negative impact on your potential. If you believe you’re useless, your actions and thoughts are the cause.
Leadership skills allow you to carry out a task with determined results. Developing your leadership skills is important in order to become a good leader. The required leadership skills can depend on time, country and organization and is partly related to the preferred leadership style.
10 leadership skills needed in the future
The book ‘Leaders make the future’ provides 10 leadership skillset needed in the future:
- The MakerInstinct: The ability to exploit your inner drive to build and grow things.
- Clarity: The ability to see through messes and contradictions to a future that others cannot yet see.
- Dilemma Flipping: The ability to turn dilemmas into advantages and opportunities.
- Immersive Learning: The ability to immerse yourself in unfamiliar environments.
- Bio-empathy: The ability to see things from nature’s point of view.
- Constructive Depolarizing: The ability to calm tense situations where differences dominate and communication is broken down.
- Quiet Transparency: The ability to be open and authentic about what matters.
- Rapid Prototyping: The ability to create quick, early versions of innovations, with the expectation that later success will require early failures.
- Smart-mob Organizing: The ability to create, engage with, and nurture purposeful business or social change networks through intelligent use of electronic and other media.
- Commons Creating: The ability to seed, nurture and grow shared assets that can benefit all players— and allow competition at a higher level.
How to develop leadership skills?
How can you develop these skills? The first and most important point is curiosity. By being curious you learn new things. So, start reading books (or book summaries), watch interesting videos and ask questions all the time. But, by being curious only you don’t develop a skill. That part is done by putting the things into practice. Don’t be afraid for failure, but just do it. You will recognize that maybe your first coaching session with an employee is not as good as the one you’re performing three months later. And you can practice basically everywhere: at your work, at home, when you’re volunteering.
In the Velites online leadership program you’ll develop your leadership skills in a practical way. You will learn the theory, but a lot of focus is on the practical side, where based on playful learning you’ll work on your behavior.
Lewin and his colleagues were among the first to make a distinction between leadership styles, back in 1939. The leadership style is shaped up by the characteristics and personalities of individuals in combination with culture. Also the goals and objectives of an organization play a role. In general, the leadership styles can be classified into 5 different styles. These are: autocratic, democratic, laissez-fair, transactional and transformational leadership.
Autocratic leadership style
In case of the authoritarian or autocratic leadership style, managers are in control. This is because they have the knowledge and skills to do the job. It is a real top-bottom setup. In this case all decision-making power lies with the leader(s). So, there is no input from the subordinates.
Democratic leadership style
The democratic style of leadership concentrates more on employees by increasing their participation. Employees are taking part in the process of setting goals, solving problems and building teams.
Laissez-faire leadership style
“Laissez-faire” is the French word for “leave it”. The laissez-faire leadership style leaves employees free. In this case, the authority to make decisions and creating objectives are in hand of the employees.
Transactional leadership style
The transactional leadership is based on the concept of a “transaction”. Employees are supposed to follow their leaders and in return they get salary and other incentives. Therefore, the transactional leadership motivates employees for increasing their productivity and achieving higher standards or targets.
Transformational leadership style
The transformational leadership style is all about listening to employees, motivating and encouraging people. It is about being visible for employees and having a vision about the team. But, it is also about celebrating successes with the team and being an example for everybody.
Do you want to learn more about leadership styles? Check our workshop ‘The President’s Speech’.
Manager vs. Leader
The book the 7 habits of highly effective people clearly describes the difference between management and leadership. Management is putting first things first, organize and control. Leadership decides what those first things are. A leader has a clear vision and can inspire people, while a manager is controlling a process. A manager is organizing how and when something is done, while a leader takes care about what and why things are done.
Leadership needs management
Leadership needs management and the other way around. A manager with no leadership skills would be an annoying boss. But a leader who is not able to manage is even worse. Mintzberg argues that leadership and management need to fit together in one role. An organization needs managers who can lead.
Reputation is the behavior related with your identity. Is it what others think you are. It is is fragile. Once it is broken it can be repaired, but other people will always remember the piece which wasn’t stable. Therefore it is really important to be aware of your reputation and that of others in your leadership role.
Nowadays there are plenty of ways to measure reputation. Think about likes, voting, reviews, points that you can earn. So it’s important to do what you’ll say you do in order to keep a good reputation.
Being inauthentic will do you no good, because you won’t be able to remain consistent. You need to show the same great qualities you have to everyone. If not, your reputation can suffer and people will start sharing negative experiences quickly.
Read more about showing your real self in our article ‘Let it Go’.
Serendipity is the art of finding something what you didn’t look for. Something that is really valuable. Basically, you discover something unexpected. It is about expecting the unexpected. The Post-it, tea-bags, penicillin and the x-ray are all invented via this way. But also artists are using the concept for their work. In business it helps you to think out of the box as well. Seeing things from a broader perspective instead of only looking at the end goal.
How to become open for the unexpected?
You can create this ‘out of the box thinking’ by looking at projects you’re working on and the outcome it has to give. Be open for the side-effect that you see in the process of moving towards a specific goal and think if you can use it in another scenario.
Read more about serendipity in our article ‘Expect the unexpected’.