“Authenticity has become the gold standard for leadership”—Harvard Business Review, January 2015
Leadership is generally defined as the “process of inducing others to take action in order to full-fill a mutual goal.”
But this is purely a textbook definition and acts as an ad-hoc euphemism for claiming that leaders simply make others take action, without any undue regard for untoward consequences.
Basically, leadership may be defined It is a “relationship between leaders and those they lead who might or might not be ‘followers’,
However, at its core leadership is not about simply ordering people around but rather leading them by example so that the ‘authentic leader’s followers enthusiastically opt to follow his lead.
From the point of view of a business organization the corporate leader is different from his subordinates in the sense that he possesses the ability to be able to focus on collective organizational goals so that they take precedence over one’s selfish self-interest. This is the core part of an authentic leader’s personality. As a matter of fact, these people well understand that keeping essentially personal goals near totally subservient to the actual mission of the company is pivotal to achieving both. This key habit is directly responsible for making them highly result oriented rather than simply turning out to be egoistic and self-centered persons. For a person to step forward and acquire the mantle of corporate leadership it is imperative that he have certain characteristics integral to his personality. These include the following:
The’ heart and mind’ approach
Such a corporate leader does not showcase his vulnerability or project it to others, but at the same time he will also showcase his emotional side easily enough, should he be actually required to do so that is. In other words, he is no ‘cry baby’ or a ‘soft touch’ that his subordinates will be able to take advantage of, as and when required. Rather he will use his sense of empathy to be able to ‘connect’ with both peers and subordinates alike.
Ability to look at the big picture
This is also a very important personality trait of the authentic business leader i.e. he has the ability to look at issues and problems from a ‘macro’ rather than a ‘micro’ level. This is how he is able to concentrate on long-term goals. It is by far and large, considerably easier to think in short and tactical terms instead of strategic terms; however, the rewards of such an approach (difficult as it may be due to the hard work as well as patience required) are definitely worth all that effort since it does end up paying rich dividends in the long term.
The authentic leader takes the proverbial bull by the horns and is the first one to face untoward situations rather than allowing his subordinatesto face the music.
A true leader is a mixture of the above traits and qualities and indeed this is precisely how he is able to both inspire and motivate his followers.
April Salsbury, MBA is a strategist, an analyst, an operational guru, a recognized leader and C-suite global healthcare executive with drive and focus for competitive markets. Co-host of The Business Forum Show and regular contributor to various business journals, she possess multi-functional and multi-national competencies with more than 15 years experience in business and healthcare. Her expertise is in invigorating revenue growth and infusing value of lean practices in growing companies through improvements to cash flow and operations management.
Fueling revenue, growth and profit, Salsbury & Co. is a consultancy firm focused on helping businesses and healthcare organizations achieve excellency. Our specialists have executive experience combined with deep functional expertise to provide our clients with services that drive real impact and results.
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