This week’s topic got me searching myself to know how many personalities I possess and when I apply each. It is obvious that not only leaders have the potential or feel the need to be different people at different times and in different situations or environments, followers or simple everyday people are faced with tough demands from work, family, the environment etc., adding one’s faith to it makes life a little more complicated.
The question now is, at what point do we stop and ask ourselves, ‘who I’m I? Is this the real me? In other words, I’m I being authentic, more or less authentic or inauthentic?
Gardner et al (2005) defined authenticity as owning ...view middle of the document...
3. Authentic behaviours: an authentic leader behaves according to his core values, beliefs, thoughts and feelings and guides his actions based on what he perceives as right and true as against what the external environment expects of him/her.
4. Relational transparency: an authentic leader should be open and ready to disclose information about him/herself and work situations to close relations within or outside a work environment. This brings about trust and confidence in such a leader, from his followers and associates.
It will be agreed that an authentic leader is a role model and a teacher to followers and those who have relations/dealings with such a leader. It is very important for leaders to be authentic because the impact of their authenticity is not only felt by their followers but there comes a ripple effect on the organization. Followers tend to admire and emulate leaders who are transparent and authentic in their behaviours and communication. Authentic leaders build organizations that are sustainable and profitable because the employees or followers feel more engaged and happy when they can trust their leader’s behaviours and decisions and this makes them put in their best performances at work. Followers who emulate such authentic leaders, become more authentic individuals at work and leaders to be. Gardner’s framework (2005) showed that there will be a positive organizational climate, an inclusive, strength-based and ethical work environment where an authentic leader leads.
Principles and standards (morality and ethics) are key determinants of a leader’s level of authenticity. As noted by Erickson (1995a) stated in Gardner’s article (2005), people are neither completely authentic nor inauthentic. Instead, they can best be described as being more or less authentic or inauthentic. Hence, more attention was placed on the processes whereby leaders and followers experience growth by becoming more authentic. It is possible that a leader is less authentic until he becomes self-aware and begins self-regulation. Self-regulation is a process that helps manage the standards set by that individual for himself after achieving clarity about what or who he is and who he...