Have you ever had a leader who said what you wanted to hear, but actually acted completely different? Authentic leaders understand the importance of not only espousing a vision, but living their vision. They practice what they preach! It is hard to follow a leader when you hear them say one thing and then do another.
Authentic leaders understand that they need to provide the right environment to their team for success. Real leaders create a positive work place that encourages relationships and friendships between members. They understand that employees need socialization and stimulation at work to spark creativity and innovation.
Authentic leaders acknowledge that each of their team members are unique people and require different levels of supervision, interaction, and mentorship. Real leaders live in the real world where kids get sick, cars break down, and the pluming goes out; they recognize that their staff also live in that same world.
Authentic leaders are genuine and say what they mean and mean what they say. They are responsible for their actions and not too proud to admit when they are wrong. They demonstrate that they are genuine by being responsible for their actions.
Authentic leaders do not tolerate workplace bullying or harassment, they hold violators accountable. They realize that the modern workforce comes fr
om diverse backgrounds with unique experience and beliefs that should be respected by their teammates.
Authentic leaders give credit to their followers. They never try to pass off the ideas of their team members a their own. The develop their employees to become leaders themselves one day.
Authentic leaders want their followers to hold them accountable. Real leaders accept that they are flawed human being and want to know when they make mistakes, so that they can improve. They also hold themselves accountable to the value system that they espouse.
“Authentic leaders love, challenge people to do what they didn’t believe possible, and generate the energy to make the impossible possible by their passion for their people” (Kerfoot, 2006).