Discovering An Authentic Leader Essay

1189 words - 5 pages

The purpose of the study was to determine how people can become an authentic leader. Over the years, studies were conducted to establish the characteristics and personalities of an ideal leader. However, researchers failed to develop a clear idea of an authentic leader. In addition, in the past five years people had developed a deep distrust of leaders. Consequently, after people read Authentic Leadership: Rediscovering the Secrets to Creating Lasting Value by Bill George, they wanted to know how they could become and remain authentic leaders. So, a research team was sent out to answer this question. As a result, researchers concluded that people life stories is what developed them into a great leader.
To begin with, “Discovering Your Authentic Leadership”, is a review article which covers the basis on how to become a leader. When conducting the research, researchers interviewed 125 leaders between the ages of 23 to 93. These leaders were chosen based on their reputation for authenticity and effectiveness as leaders, as well as recommendations from other leaders and academics. The groups included both men and women of different race, religion, ethnicity, and social backgrounds. In addition, these leaders varied from CEO’s, profit and nonprofit leaders, midcareer leaders, and young leaders just starting out. After, interviewing and analyzing researchers discovered that these people did not identify with the universal idea of what makes an authentic leader. On the other hand, they did observe that these people consciously and subconsciously were testing themselves through real world experience. In other words, their life story is what molded them into the leaders they are today.
The central idea is that you don’t have to be born with specific characteristics of a leader in order to be one. First, when trying to become an authentic leader you must learn from your life story. As an authentic leader you must learn to take the good as well as the bad in order to develop and establish who you are internally. In particular, the author’s use the interview with Daniel Vasella, Novartis chairman and CEO as an example of learning your life story. Daniel Vasella life story was the most difficult out of all the people that were interviewed. He was born to a modest family in Switzerland, but suffered with various medical problems growing up. He suffered from food poisoning at age four, asthma at age five, and four-month separation from his parents. Then Vasella was diagnosed with tuberculosis at age eight followed by meningitis. One day while in the hospital, a new physician came in and showed him compassion that it made such a deep impression on him that he wanted to become a physician himself. Overtime, he entered medical school and sought out psychotherapy, so he could deal with his early experiences and not feel like a victim. Overall, Vasella went through a great deal of problematic issues growing up, but instead of playing victim he decided to reframe...

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