Authenticity is a tool leaders can use to build trust and meaningful relationships. Authentic leaders understand their leadership transcends them. It has the power to impact other lives. Leadership coaching can help leaders develop authenticity by developing leadership competencies.

Authenticity is a hot commodity in leadership. Leadership coaching encourages leaders to build a reservoir of positive references (either through direct experiences or vicariously) through the experiences of a mentor or role model. The point of the exercise is to lend leaders experience on which they can rely during hard times.

Sometimes, living vicariously through others may distort our personalities. Instead of doing what we feel is right, we do what we think others will appreciate. We assume one personality at work and another at home. Being genuine and authentic is more difficult in leadership than one would think.

Leadership authenticity builds trust. 

People can sense authenticity. Leaders who put on acts for followers will always make those around them feel they’re being deceived.

What Is Leadership Authenticity? 

Authentic leaders incorporate their true selves into their leadership. They don’t adopt someone else’s moral compass, beliefs, principles, or values as their own. If they do, it’s out of conviction and not a desire to imitate.

Authentic leaders assume accountability for the impacts they have on others. Leadership coaching can help leaders develop authenticity by helping them discover their strengths and weaknesses and develop leadership traits.

Executive coaching professionals know how people can recognize authentic leaders.

The Hallmarks of Authentic Leadership

Authentic leaders understand there’s more to leadership than financial gains and honor. They lead out of conviction.

Leadership as a Central Part of Self-Identity

Leadership and self-identities merge in authentic leaders. Such leaders don’t play roles; they assume leadership as a natural evolutionary step that takes them closer to their goals. They lead because that’s how they influence and pursue others.

Deep Self-Beliefs and Confident Value Systems

Authentic leaders base their behaviors on deeply engrained value systems that guide their personal lives. They don’t have separate work and home personalities. They live leadership in the sense that their behaviors are consistent, and they practice what they preach.

Goals That Stem from Passion

Leadership is a tool and not a goal in itself for authentic leaders. The goals of such leaders stem from values, beliefs, and passions. They’re not the results of external benefits. Therefore, leadership is easy for authentic leaders. They demonstrate almost effortless resilience and stamina.

The Inspirational Power of Strong Beliefs

Authentic leaders inspire others through their convictions and the strength of their beliefs. They find it easy to build trust as people naturally gravitate toward authenticity.

Taking Ownership of Mistakes

Authentic leaders aren’t afraid to show vulnerability by taking ownership of their mistakes. They don’t seek to preserve their images. They want to rebound and avoid making the same mistakes twice. The thought of pinning their mistakes on someone else never occurs to them because this has nothing to do with what they want to accomplish.

Vulnerability goes hand-in-hand with authenticity. 

Self-Awareness Is Central to Authentic Leadership

Executive coaching understands the value of self-awareness as the leadership competency that forms the basis of authenticity.

Self-awareness allows leaders to understand the thoughts, emotions, and behaviors they elicit. They know how they react to certain emotions and can alter their reactions if they deem them counterproductive. Self-awareness is at the root of emotional intelligence.

Focusing on self-awareness is a great starting point for building authenticity. How can business coaching help you become a more authentic leader?

  • See yourself as a work in progress. Authentic leaders know they can always improve and learn. They continually adjust how they see the world and relate to it.
  • Lose the ego. Authentic leaders know leadership isn’t about them. They focus on empowering and helping others reach goals.
  • Connect with others meaningfully. Authentic leaders aren’t shy to reveal portions of themselves to inspire and influence others.

Leadership authenticity is a skill leaders can develop. Business coaching can help them understand how they should shift their focus to do so.


Back to blog