To discover your authenticity as a leader we must first define ‘authentic’ within this progressive model of business management.
Authentic leadership is finding the ability to articulate to your team your vision, motivation and passion for your role. If you are able to connect with others in this way, they will be aligned with the company’s goals and leaders will emerge. In this case, we assume you are already aligned with the company’s goals and that you share the vision of success that the company strives for.
To be an authentic leader does not mean in our progressive model of business management, to be the boss of others, nor does entrepreneurship mean to be striking out alone with your own ideas. In this pioneering approach to leadership these terms mean that the individual at any level is empowered and praised for free thinking and sharing, for being aligned with the company and the shared goals.
Culture tip: Everyone can be a leader, regardless of their status, pay roll or organisational capacity at work.
As in the traditional definition of leadership where the direction of others is controlled, power means to exert influence over others and assume respect for your role. In fact, the progressive business model defines authentic power as the willingness to defend you principles uncompromisingly. Again, your principles are aligned with the company and genuinely so, meaning you truly believe in those principles, because they are one and the same.
Allowing oneself to be bent to a different point of view, to be controlled by traditional power rather than your own vision and purpose, is to be vulnerable and goes against the authentic model of business management. This is one way toxicity can build up in the workplace, as we discussed in the blog ‘What is Cultural Toxicity?’
Culture tip: A nice paradox between the traditional approach to leadership and the progressive is thus: A role that once defined the subservient person, is now the leader defining the role.
The barrier – Succumbing to traditional role definitions
The seduction of raised status, inflated income and increased power over others is easy to be subservient to and easy to be classed as the definition of success. In the progressive model of business management, as authentic leaders, success is actually discovering and communicating your true self. Your wealth will be measured at first in peacefulness, popularity and then prosperity. You will gain authentic power as these attributes will define you as an authentic leader through trust and values in common with your colleagues.
Culture tip: Being able to focus less on striving for traditional power and more on establishing common goals and authentic power will mean authentic leadership will simply happen without striving.
Share the benefits
The clear benefit to breaking through the barrier of lusting after organisational power is that those around you will trust in you and believe in your noble principles. You will have earned the right to lead, not been handed the task and you will lead with courage and conviction.
Your example will encourage those around you and others will model their own progression on your pioneering approach to leadership.
Thank you for reading. You can learn more about the barriers to progression and how to break through them by taking part in the Leadership Programme.
Further reading is available in the book, ‘A Visionary Perspective – Successful Business Leadership’