The foundational elements of our L3 Leadership model includes, authenticity, integrity and balance.This post explores dimension of authentic leadership.
This list of qualities is adapted from Michael Hyatt’s work.
Authentic leaders have insight. Sometimes we refer to this as vision, but that usually has exclusive reference to the future. While leaders must have vision, they need more. They need wisdom and discernment. They need to be able to look at complex situations, gain clarity, and determine a course of action.
Authentic leaders demonstrate initiative. They go first. They don’t sit on the sidelines. They don’t ask others to do what they are unwilling to do themselves.
Authentic leaders exert influence. It’s no coincidence that influence and influenza (the flu) come from the same root word. Real leaders are contagious. People “catch” what they have. People are drawn to their vision and their values. They are able to gather a following and move people to act. To change metaphors, they are like human wave pools, creating a ripple effect wherever they go.
Authentic leaders have impact. At the end of the day, leaders make a difference. The world is changed because of their leadership. They are able to create real and lasting change. Unless something has shifted, they aren’t leaders. They are only entertainers. There is a big difference. The measure of leadership cannot be found in the leader; it is found in the impact the leader has on his or her followers.
Authentic leaders exercise integrity. Not every leader is benevolent. Adolf Hitler was a leader, as was Josef Stalin. They had insight, initiative, influence, and impact. Yet their lives were not integrated with the highest values. Integrity—or the lack thereof—ultimately determines the quality of a person’s impact. In a sense, this is the foundation of authentic leadership.