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Authentic Leadership

Written by: Dax Grant, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

Authentic leadership for executives – Why is authentic leadership essential? What does authentic leadership look like? How does authentic leadership unlock business results?


The role of an executive comes with significant accountability and responsibility. The privilege of leading an organization or function is underpinned with staff advocacy whilst in parallel bringing together diverse views with key stakeholders. Success requires a clear centred leadership approach to unlock the value of the group.

When stepping into an executive position or establishing the next level of depth within an existing executive position, we are each reminded of the importance of a hundred-day plan, whilst the requirement to be authentic may be mentioned in passing. As seasoned executives creating and implementing the hundred-day plan is typically second nature. However, the importance of authentic leadership is underestimated in the majority of situations. And of course, in being authentic there is the implicit understanding that as an executive you are comfortable with your own authenticity and resulting impact. The power of unlocking the gift of authentic leadership is exponential!


What is authentic leadership?


Authentic leadership requires access of one’s true self. Accessing this ability can help leaders and executives connect more effectively with their function or area whilst providing increased capacity for motivation and inspiration. Whilst respectful and humble, it does not require someone to conform to a set of behaviors or expectations that are not in line with their own beliefs or values.

  • Committed to continual personal growth

  • Mission-centred belief in the vision, mission, and underpinning goals

  • Connectivity focused, creating positive awareness within the team, function, and business

  • Relentless in their service to the team to create the right environment, value, and societal good

Why is authentic leadership essential?


People respond more to leaders with whom they can relate as these authentic leaders are aware of their needs. Evidence also indicates that people are seeking leaders with whom they can connect. This is typically exemplified when finding someone who is like us but a bit further along with the path. Leaders who can help us with a leap of faith and create a better world.


As a result, authentic leaders can build and nurture their team in positive and proactive ways resulting in personal growth in parallel to professional development. It is often recognized that leaders with authenticity can more easily connect with the individuals they lead and create cohesiveness around delivering common goals.


Whilst effective executives are always able to step into the group and roll up their sleeves when looking after functions and organizations, executive leadership rests on clear thought, listening, ensuring accountability within the function, and communicating effectively. Authenticity knowhow is essential to credibility and buy-in. Effective authenticity builds trust and collaboration required for performance. Authentic leaders are passionate about their work, they have a commitment to the organization, and they focus on the future. Ultimately authentic leadership creates a culture of respect in your organization.


Key learnings for effective authenticity within executive teams


There are several paths to deepening the authenticity of executives within international, global, and venture organizations. The following areas were identified as key:

  • Take the time to get to know the organization and function

  • Listen, listen, listen, and then communicate

  • Act but build support, be prepared to refine your view based on combined perspectives

  • Continually build self-awareness,

  • Give respect and act with kindness to all

Follow me on LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!

 

Dax Grant, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Dax is a leading global authority on entrepreneurial c-suite leadership. As CEO, of Global Transform, Dax is a renowned Woman in Technology, accomplished keynote speaker and societal voice. Listed within the Global CIO 100, Cranfield School of Management 100 Women to Watch, Dax has significant expertise in leading global COO and CIO functions, an experienced NED and member of the Forbes Technology Council. As a Chartered Banker and Associate of the London Institute of Banking and Finance, Dax also holds an economics degree from Cambridge and MBA, Alumna of Cranfield Business School and Harvard Business School, Dax is recognized for her philanthropic activities, as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

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