Authentic Leadership

February 5, 2014

in Leadership

Yesterday I wrote about the carefulness of well-seasoned leaders. Barrett, quoted above, responded on Twitter adding the topic of authenticity into the conversation.

Authenticity is  talked about frequently lately. With concerns about privacy, the NSA, and other trickery, authenticity is more and more respected. One leader in this space is Joel of Buffer that publishes the salaries of all his startup’s people. Now that takes the cake on authenticity.

I do not believe that the carefulness of well-seasoned leaders necessarily runs contrary to authenticity. In fact, it is often more authentic to be careful. Great leaders do not need to be broadcasting their every fleeting concern or worry. It’s high-frequency noise that is fake and not indicative of the true and authentic position of the company or situation.

Well-seasoned leaders are honest. They are anchored to the truth about their organizations and their future prospects. They don’t oversell and they don’t undersell. They try to be honest with themselves and with others, including the media.

The may, however, refuse to answer questions. Careful leaders do not answer every question asked of them. In that regard, some leaders might be more open to divulging information than others. Joel is definitely at the forefront of sharing information. I think more and more companies will be open with information that was previously guarded.

In our startup, we are very open with information internally. We are not as open as Joel, but we are better than most and keep looking for ways to be more authentic.

What are your thoughts about authentic leadership?


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