What are the benefits of authentic leadership? How does it support those around you?

If you are authentic, if you’re vulnerable, you’re also creating an environment that lets others be themselves and show more of themselves and feel safe to be themselves. And that will lead to a lot of amazing benefits.

These benefits include bigger trust, better relationships with colleagues and with the leader. Higher employee engagement, boosted productivity.  If we can start to focus more on what’s right with ourselves and other people, instead of what’s wrong and what we have to fix. So by creating this authentic leadership and this environment of psychological safety, we can fully step into this leadership and create a culture that is just so powerful.

So let’s look at the key characteristics of authentic leaders and help you to step into your authentic leadership a little bit more today.

In this episode, I talk all about:

  • The benefits of authentic leadership
  • 8 key characteristics of authentic leaders, including:
  • How authentic leaders have self-awareness and are transparent
  • How they are courageous and ready to step into discomfort

  • And how they create a psychologically safe environment for others to step into their authenticity

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Scroll down for this episode’s transcript.

 

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Transcript:

Anne:

In this episode of the Lead Like You podcast, we will talk about the key characteristics of authentic leaders.

Hi, and welcome back to the Lead Like You podcast, last episode, we talked about the four misconceptions on authentic leadership. So this week we want to talk about the key characteristics of authentic leaders. So if you haven’t listened to the last episode, make sure you check it out.

 Before we go into the key characteristics of authentic leaders, just a quick reminder, that if you want to figure out a little bit more about your unique, authentic leadership style and how can you use your strength to step into your authentic leadership and lead with more confidence and impact, then head to annekoopmann.com/authenticleader to do a quick quiz, to understand your style and get some key tips from me on how you can create impact from today.

 Before we go into the characteristics, let’s look at the benefits of authentic leadership. And the key here really is that if you are authentic, if you’re vulnerable, you’re also creating an environment that lets others be themselves and show more of themselves and feel safe to be themselves. And that will lead to a lot of amazing benefits.

And some of them were highlighted in a study in the Harvard business review. 

These benefits include bigger trust, better relationships with colleagues and with the leader. Higher employee engagement, boosted productivity.

 A more positive environment and also a more inclusive culture. Because if we’re authentic, if we building an environment of psychological safety, we are inviting everyone to show up, as themselves. To own up to who they are, to their mistakes, and also embracing who they are, their strength and their uniqueness and what they are bringing to the role.

And this is just so powerful, if we can start to focus more on what’s right with ourselves and other people, instead of what’s wrong and what we have to fix. So by creating this authentic leadership and this environment of psychological safety, we can fully step into this leadership and create a culture that is just so powerful.

So let’s look at the key characteristics of authentic leaders and help you to step into your authentic leadership a little bit more today.

So what sets authentic leaders apart is that they’re committed to the journey of learning and development.

 They have high self actualization. They can set themselves goals and targets, but they can also review what has happened. They can be self-aware and they can reflect on what’s going on and change and adapt their behaviors as a key to create better impact, better relationships, a better environment.

They own up to their mistakes and they are committed to do better.

The second characteristic is that they are highly self-aware, internally and externally. Self-awareness is closely connected to your emotional intelligence. It’s actually key to become an emotionally intelligent leader and we separate, or we look at internal self-awareness versus external self-awareness and internal self-awareness is obviously looking inwards.

It’s looking who you are, what you stand for, but also your emotional reactions and triggers. What are the things that trigger you to lose your patience or become frustrated? What are the triggers and behaviors of others that make you react in a certain way, but also what are the circumstances that you react to?

And then from there you can make decisions of how you adapt your behaviors, and thoughts. And then the external self awareness is, how do you come across? How do people see you? And there it’s really interesting to start to see, okay. Is actually the picture that I have of myself and the version that I want to put out there is that perceived by others?

Do they see that? Do they see me as that person that I want to be? And if not, how can I make adjustments to them?

And the third characteristic of authentic leaders is that they know that unique leadership identity, they know their values, what they stand for, it’s their inner compass. It’s the guiding principles that helps them to make the tough or critical decisions that align it back to their values, they show up with integrity.

They know their purpose. They know why they’re here. They know why they do what they do. They know what their mission and vision is. And they also know what motivates them, how they get to where they want to go. What are the drivers behind their actions?

And they also know that unique story and how their life story helps them be the best leader they can be.

And the fourth characteristic of authentic leaders is that they lead with their strength. They are not trying to hide something about them. They’re not trying to hide weaknesses. They are feeling very confident in their strengths and embracing their strengths, and they know how to use their strength, to have impact, to communicate, to create accountability, to boost their own confidence, their motivation.

They know how to show up to be their best selves.

 And therefore they don’t feel the need to put on a mask because they know inside that they have what it takes, because we all have amazing strengths that let us create impact and let us show up to be our best selves and be amazing leaders. So when we embrace that, we can let go of the fear of being found out, of imposter syndrome.

We can let go of wearing a mask. We can be who we are. We can own up to the things that just don’t come as easily to us. And that’s totally fine. And we can also embrace and communicate our strengths with confidence.

The fifth characteristic of authentic leaders is that they are transparent. Yeah, they don’t have it hidden agenda. They communicate what’s going on. They communicate about why things are happening, why things are needing to be done or needing to be decided. Even the tough decisions. They don’t have hidden agendas.

They are transparent about why is this happening? What’s the purpose? What is this connected to? You can trust them. They’re not fake. They’re not two faced. So people know that they stand for what they say. They’re committed to what they say. And that’s so important that people can trust on you to be who you are and to show up like that.

And to have their back when it’s needed.

The sixth characteristic of authentic leaders is that they have an ethical compass, a moral compass. They act based on their morals. They act for the greater good. They look at what impact does their actions have on people? They are not driven by selfish motivators. They’re driven by what needs to happen for the greater good

They’re committed not to cause harm to others. And they’re also committed to drive and foster diversity and an inclusive work environment.

The seventh characteristic of authentic leaders is that they are courageous and they’re ready to step outside of their comfort zone. And by doing that, I don’t mean you have to take the biggest leap, but it’s just challenging yourself to take one little step at a time and to step outside of your comfort zone regularly, they know that that’s where the growth zone is, opening up.

Having the tough conversations, not shying away from having the conversations that need to be had. Conversations that might make you feel awkward. That might be tough for some people to, to hear, but they know that this is important for change and to drive change, they’re ready to step into short-term discomfort for long-term comfort.

So they are courageous. They take courageous action.

And lastly, authentic leaders, they create psychological safe environments and they’re committed to help everyone be the best they can be, be seen for who they are, be accepted and appreciated for who they are. And not being shamed for making mistakes or taking risks.

They’re curating environment where everybody is safe to be themselves. Everybody can step into their strengths and everybody can bring their best selves forward.

So those characteristics are so powerful, aren’t they? So if you’re ready to step into that, just make a list today. Think about what are the characteristics that you want to focus on. And if you would like a little bit of help, remember, you can take my authentic leadership quiz and you can start to get a bit of a feeling for what’s your unique strength when it comes to authentic leadership and start to take action from today to communicate with impact.

Go to annekoopmann.com/authenticleader, and take the quiz today.

There’s only a few questions, and then you will get delivered an amazing guide with tips and tricks into your inbox of how you can be more authentically and confident from today. Thanks so much for listening to the Lead Like You podcast. Can’t wait to be back in two weeks with the next episode. If one of the characteristics really spoke to you, then connect with me on Instagram or LinkedIn, send me a DM or an email to mail@annekoopmann.com.

Looking forward to hearing from you.